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Uson, Masbate pastor ambushed by rebels

CAWAYAN, MASBATE—Alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were responsible for the death of Joel Guarina, leader of the group who calls themselves Plipinista Alpha and Omega Vigilantes Fighters.

The reports say that the victim, a resident of Barangay Libertad, in the town of Uson, was driving his motorcycle along Villaganas Village at Barangay Panan-awan, this town, when he was fired upon by armed men believed to rebels operating in the area.

The incident report also said that Guarina was riding the motorcycle with his wife and child when they were assaulted.

“My husband, child and I were at first very lucky because we were not hit by the bullets when we were fired upon by the unidentified armed men,” the wife said. “But, after bringing us to a safe place after the incident, my husband (Joel) went back to the place where we were ambused.”

“The intention of my husband,” the wife explained, “was to confront the NPAs. He went back to ask for explanation, why they (NPAs) wanted to kill us.”

A heated confrontation ensued which resulted into the firing of bullets that claimed the life of Guarina, the report added.

In the follow-up investigation, the reports claim that Joel Guarina was the subject of a manhunt operation launched by the rebels, upon suspicion that he was a spy for the military.

At the scene of the crime, the police authorities recovered empty shells from an M-16 armalite rifle and a caliber .9mm pistol.

The suspects managed to escape from the authorities.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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