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War vs insurgency in high gear in Sorsogon

By Mar S. Arguelles LEGAZPI CITY --- The insurgency problem in Sorsogon province is getting worse following the series of assassination launched by the New People’s Army (NPA) in a span of one month against government forces, including civilians suspect to be informers, a top official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Sorsogon said yesterday. The series of killings that took place in August this year claimed the lives of at least 10 people. Of these cases, six were allegedly insurgency related killings, two due to personal grudges, and one each for illegal drug and business rivalry, according to Police Supt. Marlon Tejada, PNP Sorsogon provincial director. Tejada in a phone interview Wednesday said he believes that the series of attacks by the communist rebels were retaliatory action against police and military personnel following the death of Andres Hubila, alias Ka Magno, a ranking NPA rebel in Sorsogon, including three other companions, during a clash with a joint Army and PNP contingent in a remote village in Casiguran town in Sorsogon province last month. Following the death of Hubila, communist insurgents ambushed an Army patrol led by Army 2Lt. Lee Tremedal and Army Staff Sergeant Allan Bercasio. The two soldiers died in a landmine blast reportedly planted by the NPA rebels in Barangay Casili, a remote village in Gubat, Sorsogon, Tejada said. Tejada, the former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) regional chief and newly installed PNP provincial director in Sorsogon said the series of killings took place in the towns of Bulan, Gubat, Donsol and Sorsogon City. The police provincial chief said that the PNP is closely coordinating with Army officials in the province to carry out offensive action against the communist movement operating in the province. Tejada added, “we are also investigating and building a case to be filed in local courts against the leaders and members of the communist movement responsible for the series of killings.”

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