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Private armed group kills ex-member

Rommel L. Rutor (The Freeman) - February 23, 2016 - 9:00am

CALBAYOG CITY, Philippines — About 10 members of a Private Armed Group, operating in the hinterlands of Happy Valley in this city, reportedly ambushed and killed its alleged former member early morning yesterday.

Chief Inspector Elmer Vergara, Calbayog City Police chief, in a media interview yesterday said the victim, 47-year-old Joseph Jalayajay, reportedly a farmer living at Barangay San Jose in Lower Happy Valley of this city, was with his wife on their way to their farm when the incident happened.

“According to the victim’s wife, her husband was walking ahead of her by about 10 arm-lengths, when she heard burst of gunshots. She then saw her husband fall dead. She survived because she immediately ran away from the scene for safety,” Vergara told The Freeman.

The police however downplayed that the killing of Jalayajay was politically connected, saying that the victim was only a farmer.

Vergara however pointed out that, based on the progress of their investigation, probers established that the possible motive of the incident was due to an old grudge.

“The suspects and the victim are in the PAGs’ list, and they used to be in the same group, but we learned that the victim decided to separate thus earning the ire of his former colleagues. That is why he was killed,” said Vergara.

The police chief did not mention though as to what new group the victim was being linked with, after he separated from his old group. He also declined to name the 10 perpetrators pending the filing of appropriate charges today, but he called on them to voluntarily surrender.

“The wife was able to identify them, if not all of them, but since they used to be colleagues of her husband and they are in a group, certainly she knows who they are. Besides there are other witnesses who identified the suspects,” Vergara added. —(FREEMAN)

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