KIDAPAWAN CITY – Motorcycle gunmen shot dead a cop in a daring broad daylight attack Thursday in South Cotabato province in the restive southern region of Mindanao.
PO2 Charlie Liba was travelling on a motorcycle and heading to the police regional office when two gunmen drove by his side and repeatedly shot him in the town of Tupi. The assailants also carted Liba’s weapon before escaping.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for Liba’s murder, but initial police report suggested it was a hit from the communist rebel group New People’s Army which has been fighting the government for many decades now in an effort to put up its own state in the country.
It was unknown how the gunmen managed to pass through military and police checkpoints in the town especially the region is still under martial law.
Just recently, gunmen also killed a government soldier, Corporal Rhuphel Lihay-lihay, who just returned home in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur province after battling local ISIS militants for 5 months in Marawi City.
The 39-year old soldier, a member of the army’s 1st Infantry Division based in the province, was playing billiard with friends when one of two gunmen shot him several times. The attackers, believed to be NPA rebels, fled on a motorcycle after the shooting. The NPA is actively operating in the province, about 267 kilometers from Zamboanga City.
President Rodrigo Duterte suspended peace talks with the communist rebels after they refused to sign a cease-fire agreement, but communist leaders accused the tough-talking Filipino leader of reneging on his promise to free over 500 political detainees, mostly NPA leaders, jailed across the country. (With a report from Rhoderick Beñez)
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