From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 24): Army calls ambush of 2 barbaric
The Philippine Army yesterday condemned the criminal and barbaric acts perpetrated by the New People's Army, who staged an ambush on two civilians on Thursday in Calatrava, Negros Occidental.
Norberto Lumayno, a sugar planter, and his driver, Danilo Braga, succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds, and the vehicle they were riding was riddled with bullets, after they were ambushed by about nine suspected NPA rebels in Brgy. Minapasok, Calatrava, the police said.
The ambush also took place two days after three suspected NPA assassins also shot and killed former Army Sgt. Ronnie Montejo in Canlaon City, also following the raid of a police station in Maasin town of Iloilo, on Sunday.
The pursuit operations of the 62IB against fleeing rebels suspects led to an encounter in the nearby barangay of Cambayobo in Calatrava, that lasted for about 15 minutes.
Bañez said he believes that the two incidents are connected and the killing of Lumayno was a part of the CPP-NPA's desperate move to sow fear among the masses, specially land owners, for them to yield to their extortion demands.
Col. Eliezer Losañes, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday said that they are now following reports that the fleeing rebels, who encountered the 62IB troops, have either been injured or killed.
Recovered from the encounter site were a 45 caliber pistol, a hand grenade, assorted s ubversive documents, a portable gas stove, medical accessories, twoCPP- NPA flags, nine bag packs, two transistor radios, P270 in cash, assorted food stuffs, a hammock and personal belongings.
Senior Supt. Rodolfo Castil, officer-in-charge of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, said yesterday that they are now checking hospitals, to determine if there are persons being treated of gunshot wounds in them.
Castil said they are also implementing target hardening measures in all police stations, following the reported formation of four platoons of NPA in northern Negros, after the Maasin police station raid in Iloilo.
While they have yet to establish the specific targets of the rebel group, he said they are assuming that NPA is up to something.
Bañez also said the 62IB .will help other law enforcement agencies in bringing the suspects to the bar of justice, and vowed to protect the people from fear and intimidation from local terrorist groups.