Suspected NPA rebel killed in Masbate attack

NAGA CITY, Philippines—A member of the paramilitary Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit  survived an attack by two suspected New People’s Army rebels, killing one of the rebels while the other rebel fled Tuesday afternoon in Basud town in Masbate.

Major Angelo Guzman, spokesperson of the 9th Infantry Division, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that militiaman Romy B. Ariola was off duty with his family in their house in Barangay Ilaya when the  rebels attacked at around 4:45 p.m. but Ariola was able to fire back with his improvised shotgun.

“I have to protect my family from harm; it’s good no one in the family was hurt or hit by enemy fire,” Guzman quoted militiaman Ariola as saying.

Guzman identified the slain rebel as Noel Sioco and said the latter’s .38-caliber pistol was recovered. The other rebel, known as Manuel Ariola, was armed with an M16 rifle and managed to flee.

Sioco and Ariola, who is not related to the militiaman, were said to be under the NPA’s Front Committee 83 operating in Masbate.

Guzman said said Sioco was the suspect in the killing of Romy Ariola’s brother in 2010.

Lieutenant Colonel Julian Pacatan, commanding officer of the 9th Infantry Battalion based in Milagros, Masbate, directed soldiers to provide security to the family of Ariola immediately after the attack.

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