DAVAO CITY – Unidentified armed killed in ambush on Wednesday the mayor of the Bukidnon town of Impasug-ong, after he went on an out-of-town mission to deliver relief and medical mission.

The military tagged the New People’s Army as the one which ambushed Mayor Mario Okinlay at 8:00 am in Barangay Bontongon. Okinlay died an hour after he was rushed to the Malaybalay Polymedic Hospital.

Major Christian Uy, spokesperson of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division said that Okinlay was on his way back to the municipal hall when ambushed allegedly by three members of NPA’s “Secom 89” of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

Uy said that Okinlay was joined by office heads and personnel of the municipal government and police and military personnel to “deliver basic government services” to residents of Barangay Bontongon last July 1″.

“On their way back to municipal hall this morning, a few kilometers away from Barangay Bontogon, three NPAs ambushed the convoy. Troops of 8th Infantry Battalion and the PNP immediately returned fire and NPAs immediately withdrew towards different directions. Mayor Okinlay was wounded during the incident,” said Uy.

Uy did not say how many alleged NPAs attacked the convoy or what type of firearms they used, including the one that killed Okinlay.

Uy said that Lieutenant Colonel Romualdo Raymund B Landingin, the commanding officer of 8th IB, was present during the incident and “ordered his troops to conduct pursuit operation to the retreating NPA rebels and facilitated the immediate transport of Mayor Okinlay to the nearest hospital on board a military ambulance”.

Uy said Okinlay was declared dead at 11 am because of bullet wound in the stomach.

The NPA has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

Last month, an encounter between the NPA and elements of the First Special Forces Battalion in the town of San Vicente resulted to the wounding of one soldier.

Also last month, the Armed Forces of the Philippines presented 50 alleged NPA rebels who “voluntarily surrendered” at Camp Osito Bahian in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

The same month, the NPA burned P11-million worth of equipment of the packing house of Sumitomo Fruits (Sumifru) Philippines in Barangay Barobo, Valencia, Bukidnon as “a ‘punitive’ action for the company’s expansion and disruption of livelihood for farmers, indigenous peoples and farm workers.” (davaotoday.com)

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