NPA owns up to Batangas cop's killing

by Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog

Posted at Jul 14 2011 11:41 PM | Updated as of Jul 15 2011 07:41 AM

BATANGAS, Philippines - The communist New People's Army (NPA) has admitted it was behind the assassination of police Superintendent Rodney Ramirez in Batangas last Tuesday.

The NPA said Ramirez  was shot dead as "blood payment" for his alleged involvement in killings in the Southern Tagalog region.
In an emailed message to ABS-CBN News, Apolinario Matienza, spokesperson of NPA's Eduardo Dagil Command, said they imposed the death penalty on Ramirez, who allegedly led the demolition of the homes of urban poor families in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna while he was city police chief.
Matienza likewise tagged Ramirez as the one who allegedly ordered the killing of a militant leader named Sabina "Nanay Sabeng" Ariola.

Ariola was murdered while she was giving a speech in front of the displaced residents in the area.
The group claimed that Ramirez was also responsible for the killing of barangay chairman Kenneth Reyes of Barangay Maguihan in Lemery Batangas last April 11, 2011. Reyes was the local leader of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Batangas.
"Ang isinagawang pagpaparusa ng BHB (Bagong Hukbong Bayan) kay Superintendent Ramirez ay tugon lamang sa karaingan ng mamamayan at kapamilya ng mga biktima ng karahasan ni Supt. Ramirez," Matienza said.
He warned other police officials not to follow Ramirez's actions or "face the same consequences."
The NPA also condemned the arrest of 6 people who allegedly suffered torture at the hands of police.
Ramirez was gunned down by armed men in Taal town Tuesday morning while he was riding a bike in Barangay Butong.  A gray Mitsubishi L-300 van (TKY-349) blocked his path and 6 suspects gunmen shot him simultaneously.

Ramirez, 42, a resident of P.Burgos St. Barangay Anak Dagat, Lemery, Batangas was assigned to the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit of the Batangas Police Provincial Office.
Batangas police director Senior Superintendent Rosauro Acio has yet to comment on the NPA statement.

Acio earlier said that Ramirez's assassination could have been carried out by a drug syndicate.