GUIHULNGAN, Negros Oriental - Armed men shot and killed a school principal, his sibling, and a barangay chairman in two separate incidents inside their homes in this city before dawn Thursday, just 2 days after the killing of a lawyer tagged as a rebel supporter.
Unidentified gunmen repeatedly shot school principal Arthur Bayawa, 55, and his sister Ardale, a 49-year-old employee of the Department of Education, inside their home in Barangay Hibaiyo at around 1 a.m.
Less than an hour later, armed men also stormed the house of Barangay Buenavista Chairman Romeo Alipan, 64, and shot him several times.
Alipan and the Bayawa siblings were all declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
The military and police both consider Guilhulngan as a stronghold of the communist New People's Army.
Last Tuesday, lawyer Anthony Trinidad was killed while his wife was wounded by motorcycle-riding assailants in the city. An Inquirer report said Trinidad had been receiving death threats after being tagged as a supporter of the rebel group.
The Trinidad family said the shooting happened in broad daylight along the national highway of Guihulngan City.
"We are still at a loss on the motives behind this dastardly act because our brother was such a kind-hearted, soft-spoken person who was willing to go out of his way to help people in need," the statement read.
"We do not want to speculate on the motives behind his death nor who the perpetrators are. We leave it to authorities to do their job. We are appealing to the government to please help us seek justice for our brother and get the perpetrators behind jail the soonest possible time."
A farmer and a paramilitary member, meanwhile, were allegedly killed in separate instances by the NPA in March, prompting some 200 residents to protest the attack, according to a report by the state-run Philippine Information Agency.
The city's deputy police chief, Capt. Porferio Gabuya, Jr., was also killed in a December 2018 gun attack, which investigators said may have been orchestrated by the NPA or a drug ring.
The NPA has claimed responsibility for the killing of 4 policemen last week in the neighboring town of Ayungon.
With a report from Marty Go, ABS-CBN News