RPA Members Shot Dead in La Castellana

 Two members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army -Alex Boncayao brigade (RPA-ABB) were shot dead by a hacienda watchman about 2:30 yesterday morning in Hda. Angelita in Brgy. Sag-ang, La Castellana.

Police Sr. Insp. Ruben Pajarito, the town’s PNP chief identified the victims as Joemar Torcita, 33, of Brgy. Nayon, San Enrique and Lenmar Pat, 44, of Magallon Cadre, Moises Padilla.

They sustained multiple gunshot wounds in the head and body, Pajarito disclosed.

Another RPA member, Nick Tumbagahan escaped unhurt, as he allegedly slept outside of the house and was not seen by the suspect. When he woke up, he saw his companions already dead, saying he was deeply asleep not to hear any gunshot.

The suspect was identified as Carlo Apostol, a hacienda watchman, of legal age and resident of Canlaon Citym Negros Oriental.

Pajarito claimed that Apostol invited the three the previous night to a drinking session inside the hacienda compound as it was his birthday.

When the victims fall asleep, Apostol reportedly took their firearms and used a .45 caliber in shooting them.

Suspect Apostol escaped after the incident.

Police disclosed that one KG 9 submachine and an M-14 armalite rifle were missing and believed taken by the suspect during his escape.

The motive of the killing is not yet determined by initial police investigation.

Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) from the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) arrived in the area, led by Senior Inspector Alex Batiles.

Teresa Umadhay, the hacienda cook, claimed that the RPA-ABB men were augmenting the security guards and watchmen of the hacienda.

"They had been in the hacienda for three months already. I gave them rice to cook their own meals," Umadhay said.

Policemen doubted that there was only one suspect (Apostol) responsible.

Pajarito, on the other hand, said that Tumbagahan had conflicting versions, telling them that six of them were having a drinking spree.

He will be subjected to another investigation to shed light on the shooting incident, Pajarito added.

The RPA-ABB and the government had a peace accord both had signed recently.* (CMG)