Panay rebel leader killed in ambush; CPP-NPA eyed
ILOILO, Philippines - – A ranking leader of one of the armed factions of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) on Panay Island was killed in an ambush in Badiangan town this province on Monday afternoon.
Three men on a motorcycle gunned down Demetrio Capilastique as he was cruising Barangay Linaywan on his motorbike, police said.
As Capilastique fell on the ground, the gunmen fired more bullets apparently to finish him off. Eight empty .45-caliber shells were recovered at the crime scene, just a few kilometers from his residence.
Senior Superintendent Cornelio Salinas, Iloilo police director, urged witnesses to surface and shed light on the killing.
Brigadier Gen. Arnold Quiapo, commanding officer of the Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade, believes that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) was behind Capilastique’s killing.
“There is an ongoing turf war between them as far as extortion activities are concerned,” Quiapo said.
Quarry firms, according to information reaching authorities, are giving “protection money” to Capilastique’s group.
In some parts of central Iloilo, it is believed that the RPA-ABB has the upper hand over the CPP-NPA.
Capilastique “has long been on their hit list because he was once an active NPA commander. In fact, he was considered one of the best NPA commanders in Panay before,” Quiapo said.
In 2012, two RPA-ABB leaders were also slain, and the NPA was believed responsible for the killings.