Three suspected New People's Army assassins involved in the killing of a member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit in Isabela, Negros Occidental, have been identified by the police and military.
CAFGU member Paquito Lacton, 39, succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds when shot by five armed suspects, in front of his wife and two children, in Brgy. Makilignit, Isabela Tuesday, Col. Oscar Lactao, 303 rd Infantry Brigade commander, said.
CAFGU member Dandy Quilanan, who was assigned at the Montilla detachment, was also shot dead last month by suspected NPA rebels in Brgy. Macagahay, Moises Padilla, military records also showed.
Senior Inspector Robert Mansueto, Moises Padilla police chief, yesterday said they are coordinating with the Philippine Army to compare empty shells recovered at the crime scene where Quilanan was shot, and those retrieved at the scene of incident where Lacton, was waylaid and murdered.
Police investigation showed that the witnesses who identified the three rebels assassins is afraid to execute affidavits, needed in the filing of charges against the suspects.
Lacton, 39, was off-duty, and on his way home to Brgy. Sikatuna, Isabela, when he and his family were waylaid by suspected rebels, Lactao said. The slain CAFGU member had rendered duty at the Sikatuna detachment in Isabela.
“While we never lose sight of the primacy of the peace process, we shall conduct aggressive but focused combat operations against those armed elements threatening to harm our citizens,” Maj. Enrico Gil Ileto, 3 rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office chief, said.
Ileto said they are grieving over the loss of Lacton, who manifested unflinching dedication and commitment to ensure that his townmates can sleep peacefully at night, even to the extent of offering his life as a supreme sacrifice.
Lt. Col. Eduardo Gubat, 12 th Infantry (Cadre) Battalion commander, yesterday reiterated his call on government militiamen to be always vigilant, against possible threats on their lives by rebels. * GPB