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NPA owns up to killing of Cagayan town councilor

A municipal councilor of Baggao town in Cagayan province was killed by alleged members of the New People's Army (NPA) who barged into his house on Saturday morning at Barangay Awallan.

Based on a statement released to Bombo Radyo in Tuguegarao City, the NPA's Henry Abraham East Cagayan Command claimed responsibility for the killing of Baggao town councilor Angelo Luis for "being unfriendly to the movement."

In the statement, the NPA said Luis has been an "undercover agent" who feeds information to the Military Intelligence Group in Cagayan Valley.

Cagayan police said at least 20 NPA rebels wearing Philippine Army uniform entered the house of the victim and shot him dead.

Initial investigation showed that Luis was fatally shot three times in the head, resulting in his immediate death.

The victim's family was still in shock and refused to comment on the allegation made by the NPA rebels in their statement.

In 2012, Luis filed a case against Vice Mayor Joan Cabildo Dunuan, then an administrative assistant of Baggao local government, for falsifying her daily time record (DTR). Dunuan was removed from the service when the Civil Service Commission (CSC) ordered her dismissed after finding her guilty of serious dishonesty.

Dunuan relinquished her post only on October 30, 2017 when the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) enforced the CSC order.

She said the complaint against her was politically motivated.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) Cagayan Chapter has condemned the murder of Luis.

"We call on the concerned authorities to conduct a thorough investigation on the circumstances surrounding the death of the honorable councilor," PCL head Maila Ting Que said in her Facebook post.

Also an ex-officio member of Cagayan provincial board and Tuguegarao City councilor, Que said there is a need for the investigation "to eliminate all possible angles amid speculations and pronouncements made by certain groups claiming responsibility."

The provincial government also expressed in the strongest terms its condemnation and called for authorities to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation and bring to the bar of justice those responsible.

Governor Manuel Mamba said the killing is "disguised as an act of patriotism pursuant to communist ideologies is nothing but plain and simple terrorism."

"Our leaders should not cower in fear or be coerced to submit to the whimsical and capricious demands of these insurgent groups," Mamba added.

"This is also an earnest call on the members of the Cagayano community to support the government's efforts to fight insurgency, especially in our province," he said.

[Source: By Leander C. Domingo, The Manila Times, Manila, 02Dec17]

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