Niresbakan? Cops eye rebs revenge in Negros politiko’s killing

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Police investigators in Western Visayas are looking at revenge as a possible motive in the killing of Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental town Board Member Jolomar Hilario by communist New People’s Army rebels.

Western Visayas police chief Police Brig. Gen. John Bulalacao said Hilario was a known ally of Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña.

Peña was key in the arrest of former priest turned National Democratic Front peace consultant Francisco “Frank” Fernandez, 71, a spokesman of the NDF in Negros.

Hilario was gunned down inside his house at Barangay Inolingan in Moises Padilla town, morning of March 31 (

Some 50 armed persons aboard a truck entered Hilario’s house while he was sleeping, then identified themselves as NPAs before shooting him.

Fernandez was arrested with wife Cleofe Lagtapon, alleged deputy regional secretary of education of the Komite Rehiyon-Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (KR-NCBS); and Gee-ann Perez, 20, a regional communications staff of KR-NCBS, were arrested March 24, in Barangay Calumpang, Liliw, Laguna.

For its part, the Army in Negros Occidental said Hilario’s killing was retaliation by the NPAs for Fernandez’s arrest.

“Our profiling on the victim continues,” Bulalacao said, adding there could be other motives behind the incident.

Investigators also learned Hilario had been receiving threats a few weeks back before he was killed, although he did not report the threats to the PNP.

Bulalacao also noted other politicians in the area have asked for police security.

Investigation showed the killers came from the mountainous boundary of Moises Padilla and Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.

They commandeered a truck in the sugarcane plantation and used it in reaching Hilario’s house. The NPAs set up roadblocks to prevent government troops from getting to the area.