Rebels attack sect; one killed, one hurt

Butuan City, Philippines - A civilian volunteer and concurrent missionary worker of the Independent Benevolent Missionary Association (IBMA) was killed while a barangay kagawad got wounded when armed men suspected to be communist guerillas attacked a religious sect in Purok 8, Sitio Sangay, Barangay Bugsukan, this city Tuesday morning.

The Eastern Police Precinct of the Butuan City Police Office in a report to the Caraga Philippine National Police said the communist rebels attacked the religious sect camp while 60 sect members mostly children were cleaning up.

Senior Inspector Nelly Tabornal Villagarcia, Regional Police Information Officer, identified the casualty as Teodoro Bolaron, a CVO and religious sect worker of the IBMA.

The barangay councilor was identified as Magdalino Etorma, also a member of the IBMA, a sister association of the Dinagat Island Surigao del Norte based Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association.

Etorma was immediately brought to a local hospital here after sustaining gunshot wounds in the attack.

Caraga Police Regional Director Chief Superintendent Rene Jamolod Elumbaring and Butuan City Police director Senior Superintendent Ramon Castillo Espiritu jointly ordered an investigation of the incident.

The Philippine Army's 23rd IB headed by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Sanchez conducted hot pursuit operations against the suspected communist rebels.

This is not the first time communist rebels harassed the area as last year another group of suspected rebels reportedly attacked the area for unknown reasons.

Two weeks ago, a bulldozer of construction firm CBBI was torched by communist rebels in one of the barangays in the city after the firm reportedly failed to pay the so-called "revolutionary taxes" to the New People's Army (NPA).

The NPA chapter in Caraga through its spokesperson Ka Maria Malaya had yet to issue their statement on the attack.