Gubat, Prieto Diaz killings: Police point to loose firearms; NPAs blame illegal drug trade

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P/SSupt Bernard M. Banac, Provincial Director, Sorsogon Police Provincial Office. BICOLTODAY.COM PHOTO
P/SSupt Bernard M. Banac, Provincial Director, Sorsogon Police Provincial Office. BICOLTODAY.COM PHOTO

By BicolToday Reportorial Team

SORSOGON CITY – The Sorsogon police admitted the series of killings in Gubat and Prieto Diaz are attributed to the rise of loose firearms in the province, and the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels denied knowledge of the spate of killings and instead, blamed it on the illegal drug trade.

PNP Sorsogon Provincial Director Senior Superintendent Bernard Banac admitted over media interview that the rising shooting incidents in the province as “alarming.”

Within a period of one month, seven (7) shooting incidents were recorded in different towns.

The latest was on October 15 at 8:00 in the morning when Allan Figueras was shot dead by still unidentified suspects using M-16 rifle and a caliber .45pistol in San Isidro Village, Prieto-Diaz, Sorsogon.

Other victims in separate incidents include, Mrs.Jinky Federio Estrada of Sitio Bongsaran, Rizal, Gubat, Sorsogon who was shot on October 11 7PM with M-16 rifle and caliber .45 just few meters away from a CAFGU detachment in the area.

Federio Erive 58 M of Sitio Mabaga, Rizal, Gubat; Richard Lozano 35,a utility worker in Donsol LGU was shot to death in Dancalan, Donsol; one in Sorsogon City inside the city complex, one in Casiguran and the other one was in Magallanes town.

However, Banac did not link the NPA on the killings, but blamed these on loose firearms prevalent in the province.

Reports said locally made guns are transported via Guiuan,Eastern Samar from Danao,Cebu to Matnog, Sorsogon, and saturate the adjoining municipalities.

In a related development, the NPA Celso Minguez Command operating in the province disowned the killings in Gubat and Prieto Diaz, and instead blamed these on an illegal drug trade allegedly being pushed by the government military.

NPA spokesperson Samuel Guerrero said, in a statement, they are also investigating the killings.

According to the NPA, the killings of Federico Erivera (killed on October 4) and Jinky Estrada (killed on October 11) happened near the camp of 22nd Infantry Batallion at Sitio Bungsaran, Rizal, Gubat.

“The killings of Erivera and Estrada were possibly connected in the October 15 killing of Alan Figueras of Barangay Panganiban, Gubat. The same style used in the killings, using an armalite rifle M-16 and .45 caliber pistol,” said Guerrero.

He said they have reports some Army and Cafgu personnel are involved in an illegal drug trade. [BicolToday.com]

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