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Nation

NPA ‘nemesis’ killed in Tarlac

- Benjie Villa and Ric Sapnu -
TARLAC CITY — Seven unidentified armed men gunned down a police officer in an ambush in Barangay San Isidro, La Paz, Tarlac, yesterday morning.

Reports reaching here identified the fatality as Chief Inspector Arturo Pabustan, 48, of President Quirino st., Signal Village, Taguig, Metro Manila, and chief of the Provincial Mobile Group (PMG) of the Tarlac Police Office.

The report said Pabustan was on board his Pinto car heading towards Tarlac City when fired upon by suspects armed with Armalite rifles and caliber .45 pistols.

Elements of the Nelson Mesina Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) initially confirmed to some members of the media here that "revolutionary justice" was delivered in the killing of the police officer.

Initial investigation conducted by SPO3 Pablo Pineda, the officer-on-case, revealed that Pabustan was driving his service vehicle when six to seven gunmen ambushed him at around 7 a.m. at the intersection of Soliman street and Tarlac-Sta. Rosa road in Barangay San Isidro, La Paz town.

Witnesses said that after the shooting, the still unidentified communist "revolutionary" assassins commandeered a passenger jeepney, bearing license plate CVY-142, and sped towards Tarlac City.

Investigators later learned that the jeepney plies the Maliwalo-Matatalaib-Makabulos route in Tarlac City. They refused to reveal the identities of the vehicle’s owner and driver.

Police recovered from the crime scene Pabustan’s M-16 rifle, caliber .9 mm service pistol and two-way radio.

The victim was the commander of the 312nd PMG, which was involved in several counter-insurgency operations in the province against the NPA.

Prior to his death, Pabustan and his men were also providing security in the eviction of several squatter families in La Paz and Gerona towns in Tarlac.

The squatters’ struggle was led by militant groups under the left-leaning Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan-Tarlac) and the party-list group, Bayan Muna.

In January this year, Pabustan led elements of 312nd PMG in joining forces with the Philippine Army’s 69th Infantry Battalion in engaging a group of NPA rebels in a protracted gunfight in Sta. Ignacia town.

The encounter resulted in the death of 14 NPA fighters, among them ranking rebel leaders that included Nelson Mesina, a native of Concepcion, Tarlac who used the alias "Ka Dondie" and was suspected by authorities of being the communist rebels’ provincial commander here.

Human rights activists, however, alleged foul play in the incident, claiming that there were signs that Mesina and his comrades were tortured before being killed.

Shortly after Mesina’s death, the NPA’s provincial command was named after him. The same rebel group claimed responsibility for the assassination of Pabustan.

vuukle comment

BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN

BARANGAY SAN ISIDRO

BAYAN MUNA

CHIEF INSPECTOR ARTURO PABUSTAN

ELEMENTS OF THE NELSON MESINA COMMAND OF THE NEW PEOPLE

IN JANUARY

INFANTRY BATTALION

LA PAZ

PABUSTAN

TARLAC

TARLAC CITY

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