Communist rebels denied any responsibility in Sunday’s killing of Surigao City barangay captain Felipe Palimo Achas.
Ka Oto, spokesperson for the Front Committee 16 of the New People’s Army in Surigao del Norte, said reports linking them to the brutal killing was mere speculation.
The rebel spokesperson said the slain village chieftain’s track record did not make him a legitimate military target and was never considered a target for liquidation.
Oto said the killing was likely perpetrated by the authorities, particularly the military.
But 2Lt. Jonel Castillo, 30 IB civil-military operations officer, said government troops could not have been behind the murder of Achas as it is the mandate of the military to protect civilians and government officials.
He lamented that Ka Oto conveniently accused the military of murder without even providing proof or evidence.
On Sunday, Achas, 49, was gunned down by motorcycle-riding assailants before his horrified constituents in Purok 1, Barangay Mapawa .
The assassin, described to be roughly 45 to 46 years old, standing 5’8” and wearing a bull cap fled aboard a waiting motorbike after making sure that Achas was dead.
Authorities are still conducting an investigation to determine the motive of the incident, and a follow-up operation to determine the identity of the perpetrators.
“We condemn this senseless killing and call on witnesses to come cooperate and help in the early resolution of this case,” Caraga police director Chief Supt Rolando B. Felix said. By CLC