GUIHULNGAN CITY, Negros Oriental - One person was killed while a newly-elected barangay chairman was critically wounded in a shooting incident involving alleged communist rebels here early Tuesday.
Police identified the victims as Lenmar Cabasag, who died at the Guihulngan District Hospital, and barangay chair Mike Jakosalem, who is in critical condition in a Bacolod City hospital.
Cabasag's father Nadino said they heard gunshots and went outside of their house to check. He said he saw armed men strafing Jakosalem's house.
He went inside his house to hide. But his son who lived next door also went out of his house to check on his father. Nadino said the armed men saw his son and shot him.
Cabasag succumbed to bullet wounds on his head and legs, according to Nadino.
Meanwhile, a woman under Jakosalem's foster care said the armed men barged into their house and let everyone out except for the barangay chief.
She said she ran inside the house when she heard a gunshot and saw Jakosalem tied and with a bullet wound on his head. The armed men, she said, shouted "Mabuhay ang NPA (New People's Army)."
Supt. Mario Baquiran, officer-in-charge of the Guihulngan City Police, said more or less 70 unidentified armed men were reportedly seen in the area with high-powered firearms.
The family said Jakosalem already received threats from the NPA during the elections and that they accused him of being a spy.
Police investigation and pursuit operations are ongoing,
In April, Guihulngan City Councilor Edison dela Rita was also shot dead by suspected members of the NPA.