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Maoist rebels kill three Mindanao militiamen
By Manolo B. Jara July 22, 2015
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MANILA: A group of heavily armed members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) shot and killed three militiamen who were unarmed and belonged to an indigenous group in Misamis Oriental province in restive Mindanao, the military reported on Tuesday.

Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, the provincial military spokesman, said the militiamen, all members of the Higaonon tribe, were returning to their barracks on board a motorcycle on Sunday when they were stopped by the rebels in a village in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

“They lined them up and shot them at pointblank,” Martinez said, adding attempts by soldiers to rescue the militiamen were foiled by heavy gunfire from the insurgents.

The killing occurred five days after the rebels sought a 10-day suspension of military operations to give way for the release of a soldier, identified as Private First Class Adonis Jess Maghanoy, they seized in another village in Gingoog City on July 11.

Maghanoy was taken captive in a raid staged by the insurgents that also resulted in the killing of another soldier and the wounding of 10 others including two civilians.

Major General Oscar Lactao, the commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, denounced the killing of the three militiamen as he stressed the rebels could not be trusted.

Lactao asked: “How can the government consider their demand if they keep on showing their insincerity in their actions?”

The NPA with about 4,000 members is the armed component of the Communist Party of the Philippines that has been waging a Maoist-style insurgency against the government for more than 45 years considered the longest in Asia and the Pacific.

Security experts have noted an alarming increase in NPA attacks on remote military and police outposts as well as the kidnapping of local officials like mayors since their peace talks initiated by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino again bogged down in late 2013 in Oslo, Norway.

The government panel said the talks reached an impasse due to the unreasonable demands of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the political arm of the Maoists who represented them in the negotiations.

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