MANILA, Philippines - A security aide of a mayor was killed and another person was injured when lawless elements, suspected to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, disrupted the celebration of the feast of Sto. Niño in Lapinig, Northern Samar last Friday, the military said.
Lt. Col. Niceforo Diaz Jr., commander of the Army’s 8th Civil-Military Operations Battalion, said about 50 armed men showed up during the event at around 6 p.m. Friday.
Some residents tried to resist the armed men, resulting in the killing of Aurelio Julata, 50, a security aide of Mayor Menzon Romualdo.
Diaz said the armed men also took Julata’s issued firearm.
A certain Romeo Senobio Jr. sustained injuries during the melee.
Diaz said the armed men also looted several houses, including that of Rowena Opena, a police officer.
He said Opena was not on duty and was at home with her family when the incident happened. The armed men seized her service pistol.
Local media reports said the armed men are NPA guerrillas. Diaz, however, could not confirm this.
Northern Samar is one of the areas with a huge concentration of communist insurgents.
Local police forces and local residents fought back, prompting the suspected rebels to retreat onboard a vehicle they hijacked from the Yakal Construction Co.
Diaz said authorities are now processing the complaint against the attackers.
The Army’s 803rd Infantry Brigade has ordered its units to assess the situation and to work with local officials in securing the area. – With Jaime Laude -