NPA KILLS MINDORO MAYOR OUTSIDE CHURCH
Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, Feb. 7, 2000 - Mayor Oscar Aldaba of San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro was shot dead by two young communist guerrillas as he was stepping out of church with his wife yesterday morning.
Aldaba had just heard Mass when he was stopped by two men, who said they were members of the communist New People's Army (NPA). They snatched Mrs. Aldaba from the embrace of the mayor and shot him at close range, local police chief Inspector Andrew Aguirre said.
"Based on my initial investigation the killing happened about 9 a.m. Two armed men believed to be between the ages of 16 and 20 suddenly held him and said they were NPA before shooting him dead," Aguirre told radio station dzBB.
Aldaba, 50, was a former Army major and intelligence officer and had been accused by the guerrillas of helping in counter-insurgency campaigns in Oriental Mindoro. He died from three gunshot wounds in the head.
Police recovered several empty shells fired from caliber .45 and 9 mm. pistols at the scene and the mayor's service firearm was missing, and presumed to have been taken by the guerrillas, Aguirre said.
The mayor did not have bodyguards despite earlier warnings from the communists.
"He and I have been receiving threats, he is very angry at the NPA and don't want them in San Teodoro," Aguirre stressed.
Aldaba's killing was reportedly carried out as a "birthday gift" to Communist Party of the Philippine (CPP) founder Jose Ma. Sison who celebrates his birthday tomorrow.
Provincial police chief Superintendent Napoleon Cachuela ordered two teams from the PNP Special Action Force (SAF), based in Puerto Galera, to go after the mayor's killers.
Cachuela also personally led police reinforcement from the 409th PNP provincial mobile group, based in this city, to augment the two SAF teams and the San Teodoro police in going after the killers.
Aldaba was the second local executive to be felled by NPA guerrillas in one week. Last Thursday, former Jaen, Nueva Ecija Mayor Felix Velarde was shot dead by suspected NPA rebels as he was on his way home from a local cockpit.
San Teodoro has been the scene of NPA killings in recent months. Last October, the guerrillas ambushed and killed the town's police chief, who they said was active in counter-insurgency operations and had "blood debts to the masses."
© Copyright, 2000 by PHILIPPINE
HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved
Back to the PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE HomePage