A former Philippine Army (PA) soldier was critically injured after he was shot in front of multiple witnesses by a still unidentified gunman who was armed with a long firearm and claimed to be a member of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Batuan on Sunday.
Victim Kenneth Cordero, a former member of the PA’s 47th Infantry Battalion, was rushed to a hospital in Tagbilaran City for emergency treatment after sustaining two gunshot wounds including a graze in the face and another in the stomach, said Lt. Leo Sumaoy, chief of the Batuan Police Station.
According to Sumaoy, Cordero along with at least three others was standing in a waiting shed in Barangay Rizal when three men on board a single motorcycle stopped in front of them at past 5 p.m.
One of the passengers alighted from the vehicle and grabbed a rice sack which concealed an M16 rifle prompting Cordero to jump behind the shed and flee, but the suspects caught up with him and shot him.
Cordero after being hit was still able to run but the assailants no longer pursued him as he ran into a tight alley near a village hall.
“Diretso ni siya og dagan unya gisundan per ang gidaganan medyo piuton kay luyo sa barangay hall, naay mga building,” said Sumaoy.
Following the attack, the assailants tried to pacify the witnesses while claiming to be members of the NPA.
“Ayaw mo kahadlok wa moy labot, mga NPA mi,” one of the suspects was quoted as saying.
None of the witnesses were able to give detailed descriptions of the assailants although none of them covered their face.
“Wa man g’yud nanghatag og ngan, description lang na mga gagmayon kuno,” he said.
According to Sumaoy, Cordero was a member of the 47th IB but was discharged from service after being absent without leave.
“Wana kuno to mo report sa ilang opisina, so sa karon wa na magduty,” said Sumaoy.
Meanwhile, investigators continued their probe on the case to identify the motive and suspects behind the gun attack.
Although Bohol remains to officially be insurgency-free, the town of Batuan has emerged as a new hotbed for communist movement with multiple clashes between state forces and suspected rebels reported in the area in the past months. (A. Doydora)