By Visayas Today
A lawyer was shot dead while his wife and a pedicab driver were injured when the couple was attacked by two motorcycle-riding killers in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental Tuesday afternoon, July 23.
The same day, the chief of the village in Ayungon town where four policemen were killed by communist rebels in a July 18 ambush also died in a hospital, one day after allegedly drinking pesticide, Negros Oriental police director Colonel Raul Tacaca said.
A police report said lawyer Anthony Trinidad and his wife Novie Marie, both 53 and residents of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, were in their SUV when they were fired on in the center of Guihulngan.
Their vehicle hit the pedicab driven by Guillermo Magdasal, 52, before hitting a concrete wall.
The three were rushed to the Guihulngan District Hospital where the lawyer was declared dead.
Last year, Trinidad was reportedly among the names in a hit list by an alleged anti-communist group called Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista (KAGUBAK), according to Defend Negros #StopTheAttacks Network.
Defend Negros condemned the senseless killing of the lawyer.
Meanwhile, Tacaca said Barangay Mabato chairnan Sunny Caldera, 51, had been found vomiting by the roadside with a pesticide container near him on Monday.
He was brought to Bindoy District Hospital then transferred to the Silliman University Medical Center in Dumaguete City where he expired the next day.
Earlier, police Region 7 chief Brigadier General Debold Sinas said they were looking into Caldera’s possible involvement to the deaths of the four personnel of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion.
Sinas said the village chief, who had reportedly been seen talking to one of the policemen before they were killed, had not warned them that the area was a “mass base” of the rebels.
Tacaca acknowledged they had yet to talk to Caldera’s family.
The Mt. Cansermon Command of the New People’s Army owned responsibility for the ambush on the policemen.
“Based on our intelligence report, the four police operatives were gathering information and surveilling the area for another round of Oplan Sauron or Synchronized Enhanced Management of Police Operations where innocent civilians are killed by uniformed personnel in the guise of counter-insurgency efforts,” the rebels said in a statement released Monday.
“These police officers have been long harassing the residents of the area for allegedly supporting the revolutionary movement,” they claimed. “In fact, the residents were forced to evacuate because of continued intimidation.”
Multiple murder and theft charges have been filed against 20 suspected rebels for the ambush.
Also charged was Victoriano Anadon, a reported contact who the policemen were supposed to meet but who was later found to be allegedly linked to the rebels. #