The New People’s Army (NPA) blamed the military for the ambush that killed two civilians and injured three others, including a municipal councilor in San Luis, Agusan del Sur on Saturday morning (April 6).
Army soldiers were likely behind the attack on San Luis Councilor Franklin Mandumutan and his wife, according to Ka Omar Ibarra, spokesperson of the NPA Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Subregional Command (WANAS).
“It’s highly likely and possible the ambush was handiwork of the army. There’s no other armed group in the area aside from the NPA,” Ibarra told a local radio.
The car carrying Mandumutan, her wife Susan, son Charles and two others was on its way to Barangay Poblacion to attend a campaign rally when armed men attacked them at the hinterland village of San Pedro, at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
Susan and former Barangay San Pedro treasurer Maricel Quezon died there and then, while Mandumutan and Charles were critically wounded .
Military and police troops have launched pursuit operations against the perpetrators.
Ibarra alleged that prior to the ambush, the army in Agusan del Sur had an ax to grind against the town councilman following the murder of San Pedro village chief Robencio Salamoren on February 28, 2019.
According to Ibarra, Mandumutan had been blamed by the army as the brains behind the brutal killing of Salamoren, a staunch anti-communist ally of the military
Ibarra said the ambush could be in retaliation for the death of their ally.
“Despite NPA’s admission that we meted the death penalty on Salamoren for his crimes and counter-revolutionary activities, they still pinned the blame on Mandumatan,” he said.
Army officials have yet to issue a statement regarding the NPA’s accusation. By CLC