An IP Mandatory Representative was killed by alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) amid the ceasefire in Barangay Canangaan, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon on Saturday morning.
1Lt. Ken Cabbigat, the Civil-Military Operations (CMO) officer of the 8th Infantry battalion, identified the victim as Datu Sammy Diwangan, 45, who was shot dead by members of the Guerrilla Front Malayag. His 9-year-old son, John, escaped unharmed.
Cabbigat said the residents reported that the two were working near their home when four alleged rebels shot Diwangan on the forehead and body.
Reportedly, the tribal leader was very vocal against the infiltration of the NPA in their community.
The battalion spokesperson said that a rebel surrenderee, alias Cardo, revealed to the military of their plans to kill the IPMR.
“When I was still the NPA commander of the Sentro De Grabidad Thunder of Guerilla Front 6, it’s been our plan to neutralize Sammy because we can not execute our mission in expanding our group in Barangay Canangaan because of him,” the returnee reportedly said.
The nine-year-old said that he was about to bring a gallon of fuel to his father when he saw four men attack Diwangan.
“I ran away immediately going back to our house,” he said. “I was so afraid!”
Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, the commanding officer of the 8th Infantry Battalion, condemned the attack. “This act is a clear manifestation of their evolution into a terrorist organization,” he said.
Illana said the 8th IB, along with the 4th Infantry Division, has been trying to keep the peace as a respect to the ceasefire declared by both the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“But the members of NPA terrorists are taking advantage of it to execute their plans in neutralizing their target personalities,” he said.
Illana said pursuit operations are ongoing to bring the killers to justice.
Meanwhile, John was referred to the Local Social and Welfare Development Office of Cabanglasan, Bukidnon for intervention.
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