Statement: Some security official ‘owe blood’ to local residents
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The New People’s Army (NPA) yesterday claimed responsibility for the shooting of a civil defense security member for Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña last Tuesday.
In a statement signed by Leonardo Panaligan Command spokesperson Ka JB Regalado, the NPA admitted to killing 33-year-old Michol June Ruales of Barangay Guinpana-an, Moises Padilla.
The statement said Ruales faced charges of murder and conspiracy for the April 2018 death of a certain Jerry Turga, district leader for the Kilusang Mambubukid ng Pilipinas in the Negros Occidental fifth congressional district.
Regalado claimed Ruales used his authority and firearm to intimidate local residents, claiming the Peña administration runs Moises Padilla in a “militarist way.”
They also accused Ruales of allowing himself to be used by the military and police as a “force multiplier” in counterinsurgency operations.
The NPA also confirmed they confiscated the victim’s .45 caliber pistol and ammunition.
The statement went on note, not all civil defense security officers are being targeted, only officials “who owe blood to the people of Moises Padilla” and those that “allowed themselves to [be] used [by] fascist and despotic landowners like Peña.”
Based on the report from the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO), Ruales, together with his daughter, were on their way home aboard a motorcycle when they were followed by riding-in-tandem suspects on the morning of the incident.
Investigations found the two suspects, who were aboard a red Rusi motorcycle, attempted to overtake their vehicle and, once alongside of the victim’s motorcycle, the backrider shot the victim twice in his head with unknown caliber firearm, resulting in Ruales’ motorcycle crashing beside the Nathan’s Bakery Shop.
The gunman reportedly dismounted and shot the victim again in the head.
Ruales was rushed to the Isabela District Hospital and later referred to Corazon Locsin Montelibano Regional Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
His daughter, meanwhile, suffered injuries after the motorcycle fell on her.
Recovered from the crime scene were two empty shells from .45 caliber ammunition and one empty 9mm cartridge./DGB, WDJ