LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels gunned down a female village chief in Camarines Sur and a militiaman in Sorsogon in two separate incidents Sunday, an Army official said Monday morning.
Maritess Toldanes, the village chief of Pulang Daga in Balatan, Camarines Sur, was gunned down by three communist rebels outside her residence at around 1:30 p.m., while Rodrigo Felonia, 35, a militiaman in Poblacion Sur, Barcelona, Sorsogon, was shot dead while on his way home around 9:30 a.m., said Leiutenant Colonel Ernesto Cruz, commander of the 42nd Infantry Battalion.
Cruz added that Toldanes succumbed to gunshot wounds on his head and chest. Army investigators found spent shells for a .45-caliber near the crime scene.
Cruz said Toldanes had received numerous death threats for her refusal to support the NPA rebels, whom the military alleged persistently demanded extortion money from the villagers.
Felonia, on the other hand, was dead on the spot after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds in different parts of his body.
Responding policemen found seven spent shells of a .45 cal. pistol and 15 spent shells for a 9-mm pistol near the scene of the crime.
An Army report said the attack on the two civilians had brought to 14 the number of people slain by the communists in the past five months of this year, six of whom were civilians.
Maj. Harold Cabunoc, spokesperson of the 9th Infantry Division, alleged that Felonia and Toldanes were victims of extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the NPA.
Cabunoc said that in 2009, the NPA killed 52 people in Bicol, which included 30 civilians accused of being military informants and who refused to pay the rebels” extortion demands.
By Mar S. Arguelles
Inquirer Southern Luzon