A businessman and two village officials in Masbate were abducted in separate places by the 2nd IB and the 1st Masbate Police Mobile Force Company on September 26 and brought to Barangay Alas, Mandaon where they were summarily killed two days later at around 5:30 a.m..
The victims were identified as businessman Jerry Regala of Barangay Dalipe, Cawayan who was abducted while on his way to Barangay Mactan to deliver rice supplies; and village councilors Judy Barruga and Joey Asne who were abucted at their houses in Barangay Cajonday, Baleno. The victims were reportedly brought to an undisclosed location before being killed.
The military falsely reported that the three were members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and killed in an encounter. Rifles and explosives were planted in their possession.
A few hours after the incident, the police illegally arrested a civilian motorist in Barangay Dayao in the same town. Ronald Azucena was stopped at a police checkpoint and was planted with a firearm and ammunitions. He was accused of NPA membership and is currently detained at the Mandaon police station.
Killed in the same manner
The massacre of civilians accused of having links with the NPA is the fifth to be perpetrated by the military and police in the province. In most cases, the victims were abducted and brought to another location to be killed. There are also similarities in the manner in which they were murdered.
On July 5, three barangay watchmen were picked up from their homes and brought to Mobo where they were killed.
On April 23, four civilians from the towns of Monreal and San Jacinto were abducted by state forces and brought to Claveria where they were massacred.