MANILA -- Five members of the New People's Army (NPA) were charged with murder by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on Wednesday for killing 9 people in La Castellana, Negros Occidental last January 27.
Nine counts of murder were filed against Magno Flores alias Ka Ano, Ka Lavin, Ka Virgo, Ka Alex and Ka Edgar.
Chief Inspector Cresenciano Coldero said Flores was the one who led the Squad 2 of Platoon Kantimba of Central Negros Front-NPA in the ambush in Barangay Pusok which left 9 people dead and nine others injured.
The group of Flores was also allegedly accompanied by rebels from Platoon Dublas.
Coldero said one of the injured victims, PO2 Jeffrey Alvarez, positively identified Flores as one of the men involved in the ambush.
Last week, the NPA claimed responsibility for the ambush that led to the deaths of a policeman, 3 barangay peacekeeping action team members, 2 barangay tanods and 3 civilians who were all on board a non-military truck.
They said they only intended to disarm the members of the barangay peacekeeping action team who were carrying firearms.
The rebels claimed someone from the civilians in the truck fired shots at them, forcing them to return fire at the passengers of the vehicle.
The NPA has apologized for the casualties. They also pledged to help the families of the victims. -- Report from Yasmin Dormido, dzMM