He did not make it this time.
After surviving the ambush staged by the New People’s Army on July 21 last year, Guihulngan City Councilor Paulo Edison Dela Rita was shot and killed yesterday by two motorcycle-riding suspects in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Dela Rita, who was also on a motorcycle, succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds, including the fatal one in the head, fired by two suspects, who fled on board a motorcycle, initial reports of the Guihulngan police showed.
The military and police are still validating reports that the two suspects could be members of Special Partisan Unit of the NPA operating in central Negros.
Police investigation showed that De La Rita was on his way home from his commercial establishment at the Guihulngan poblacion, when he was shot by the suspects, who were reported to be augmented by their colleagues on another motorcycle.
The scene of incident was about 300 meters away from the Guihulngan City Police Station.
The suspects were wearing helmets and jackets, witnesses said.
Recovered from the scene by responding policemen were nine empty shells, four deformed slugs and four more live ammunition of .45 caliber pistols.
Capt. Ruel Llanes, 303rd Infantry Brigade spokesman, yesterday raised the possibility that the suspects in the killing of Dela Rita may have been SPARU assassins of the NPA, but they are still validating this.
The name of Dela Rita was listed among the targets for liquidation by the NPA, that included a politician in Negros Occidental, based on documents recovered by the military, after an encounter with communist rebels in central Negros in 2016.
Last week, the NPA Leonardo Panaligan Command claimed responsibility for the killing of Ramon Perez, a bodyguard of de la Rita, in Brgy. Banwage, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Perez, of Brgy. Manghanoy, La Castellana, Negros Occidental, was also accused by the Leonardo Panaligan Command, of being a military informant.
He was the fifth person whose killing was claimed by the NPA in central Negros, since last month.
Llanes confirmed that Perez was summarily executed by the NPA.
The 303rd Infantry Brigade has condemned the series of killings of civilians by the NPA.
Aside from Perez, the NPA also claimed responsibility for the separate summary execution of four civilians, including a rebel returnee, they accused as military informants, in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, and Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, respectively, late last month.
In July 21 last year, six policemen, including Supt. Arnel Arpon, died in an ambush claimed by the NPA also in Guihulngan City, while responding to the call for help of Dela Rita, who survived an earlier ambush.*GPB
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