A group of at least three men who claimed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA) visited several houses in a remote village in Sevilla in an apparent effort to gain sympathy from residents, said a local police official on Wednesday morning.
According to SPO4 Crikito Curayag, acting police chief of Sevilla, the men knocked on houses and shared their thoughts on the government and rising prices of basic commodities to villagers including a councilor of Barangay Calinginan Norte.
There were no visible long firearms in the possession of the men, Curayag said.
“Tulo lang kono ang mosaka sa balay pero dihay mga kauban nga namatikdang naa sa gawas nagpaabot,” he added.
The barangay councilor, whose identity was withheld by authorities, said that the men who claimed to be NPA members visited his house at around 6 p.m. on January 29.
Although the men were not carrying firearms in plain sight, they had objects tucked in their waists which appeared to be pistols, the councilor told police.
The alleged NPA members did not take anything from the residents and also did not ask for money, the village councilor said.
Curayag said that although the men claimed to be members of the NPA, they could be representatives of a non-armed faction of the rebel group.
“Mga NPA, kompirmado man jud kay bisan ang 47th IB ni kompirma pod sila, basi pod sa sinultihan ug nilihukan mailhan nga NPA sila,” said Curayag.
Following the incident, the police started to coordinate with the Philippine Army’s 47th Infantry Battalion and launched joint patrols in remote areas of the town, Curayag added.
Local officials including those in the police and military have earlier maintained that the province of Bohol remained to be insurgency free. (Allen Doydora)