BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/23 October) – A Manobo tribesman was killed by some 80 suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who abducted him and two other men during a raid on a Lumad village in Carmen town in Surigao del Sur today.
Police said the rebels killed Emie Ilagan, a suspect in the kidnapping of former Carrascal mayor Victor Tan in May this year.
Emie Ilagan was seized together with Ponso Ilagan and Richkel Ilagan by rebels who raided Barangay Hinapoyan, Carmen and reportedly took several firearms from the houses, according to Carmen police chief Inspector Dominador Plaza in a phone interview.
Plaza said another group of rebels went to Sitio Gacub, which is three kilometers away from Hinapoyan proper. He said Ponso and Richkel Ilagan are from Sitio Gacub.
It was not clear how the three victims are related.
“There are unconfirmed reports that the rebels also took several firearms from the homes, but we have yet to validate this further,” said Plaza.
The police chief added that Emie Ilagan’s execution might be related to the death of his alleged accomplice in Tan’s kidnapping, Jemwell Mahinay.
“Allegedly Ilagan is involved in the death of Mahinay, maybe after they had a disagreement over the payment of the ransom money, this might be a retaliation over that incident,” Plaza said.
A resident of Hinapoyan who requested not to be named for security reasons said the rebels arrived in the barangay at around 4:00am.
“The armed men cut nine coconut trees blocking the road about 50 meters before the barangay proper. They then entered the homes of Datu Yusebio Milano Jr., a tribal chieftain living in Purok 4, then two homes in Purok 2 belonging to Alito Milano and Felix Yagaw,” said the resident on the phone.
According to several residents, the NPA left after three hours but warned they would come back for a more thorough house to house search for hidden weapons.
1Lt Al Anthony Pueblas, company commander of the 36th Infantry Battalion based in Carmen said the rebels belong to the NPA’s Front 30. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)