Village chief shot dead in Negros Oriental city

August 18, 2017 - 8:55 AM

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines — A village chief was shot dead while two of his companions were wounded by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental Thursday.

Police are considering the possible involvement of the New People’s Army in the killing of Leudigario Gargoles Binera, 40, barangay captain of Hinakpan.

Hinakpan is near barangay Magsaysay, where the NPA ambushed and killed Guihulngan police chief Superintendent Arnel Arpon and five of his men, wounding three other officers, as they responded to a rebel attack on Councilor Edison dela Rita in which the official was hurt and his driver wounded on July 21.

Witnesses told investigators that around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Binera and his companions were drinking coffee outside the home of Angelito Villarmente in Barangay Tinayunan when a gunman shot at them with a .45 caliber pistol before fleeing on a waiting motorcycle driven by an accomplice.

The victims were rushed to the Gov. William Billy Villegas Hospital where Binera died.

In an interview, acting provincial police director Senior Superintendent Henry Biñas hinted of a possible link between the July 21 ambush and Binera’s murder.

Noting that Magsaysay and Hinakpan are “infiltrated with the NPA,” Biñas, without going into detail, said it appeared some people are seeking justice for the slain and wounded policemen, adding that there was a seeming pattern of retribution in recent shooting incidents in Guihulngan.

He appealed to the families of the slain policemen to let justice take its course even as he said they had reported receiving threats recently, with at least one person appearing at his office seeking assistance.

Biñas said he has offered the provincial police office as a refuge for those under threat.