Military conducts pursuit operations vs NPAs who killed militiaman, cop in Negros

Pursuit operations are now ongoing against the New People's Army (NPA) band who shot and killed a militiaman and a police officer in Escalante City, Negros Oriental Monday night, the 3rd Infantry Division reported Wednesday.

In a belated reports, Major Rey Tiongson, 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson, said the shooting took place around 6 p.m. near the Escalante City Public Market.

Tiongson said the victims, militiaman Joseph Lutrago, 38 and P01 Bejein Tanguan, were aboard their XLR motorcycle and headed for the market, when gunned down by the rebel group.

Lutrago was hit in the head causing his instant death while Tanguan, who managed to return fire and hit an undetermined number of the NPAs, sustained multiple gunshot wounds and also died on the spot.

Tiongson said the NPAs quickly fled the scene taking with them the wounded companions. Based on civilians accounts, an NPA fighter hit by Tanguan, identified only as "Toli", succumbed to his wounds early Tuesday morning.

"We extend our deepest and sincerest condolences to the bereaved families. The killing made by the NPAs is a worst form of tactical offensive. It was done with treachery and goes to show how heartless they are," 3rd Infantry Division chief Major Gen. Jose Z. Mabanta Jr., said.