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Manhunt vs vendors’ murderers

Their attacks on innocent civilians prove that the communist rebels no longer have any principles
or ideology.

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The Police Regional Office 5 was tasked to conduct a manhunt of the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who murdered three vendors in Palanas, Masbate.

Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar directed the operation to stop the Maoist rebels’ attacks on civilians.

“Their attacks on innocent civilians prove that the communist rebels no longer have any principles or ideology,” Eleazar stressed.

Vendors Jose Lalaguna, 51; Joey Lalaguna, 30; and Jestoni Lalaguna, 22, were riding on 14 August along Barangay Miabas to sell mirrors, floormats, and speakers when they were flagged down by at least 20 NPA rebels.

They were reportedly dragged towards a secluded place where they were killed. Two of the victims’ companions fled.

The military condemned the incident as a clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law and RA 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity.

Eleazar said the police will work closely with the military to make sure that the communist rebels are arrested and brought to justice.

“We will closely coordinate our manhunt operations with the military and intensify our presence in the area to ensure the safety of other innocent civilians that the communist rebels may target for attacks,” he said.

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