Tacloban City—The Arnulfo Ortiz Command of the New People’s Army has claimed responsibility for the attempt to kill ex-Mayor Ananias Rebato of San Jose De Buan in Samar.
“The death penalty issued by the people’s court went through the process of filing the case, thorough investigation, verification of presented evidence and deliberation of the justices before arriving at a unanimous decision. The people’s court has repeatedly summoned the former mayor to answer the charges and attend the hearing of his case, only to be shunned and instead he requested the military to conduct military operations aimed at harassing and silencing the complainants,” said the NPA in a press statement dated Oct. 9.
In a statement, the NPA accused Rebato of “31 counts of rape and multiple sexual harassments perpetrated on women ‘scholars,’” “involvement in counter-revolutionary activities,” and “massive corruption of public funds, pocketing millions’ worth of infrastructure projects.”
The NPA also claimed the former mayor, now recuperating at a hospital in Tacloban City, “holds the rank of first lieutenant under the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or ISAFP.”
Meanwhile, Capt. Francis Agno, spokesperson of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City, Samar, reiterated that Rebato “is a good man.”
He belied the accusations of the NPA against Rebato.
“The ex-Mayor is not an ISAFP member. The accusations are invented,” added the chief of the army’s division public affairs office.
Rebato and his bodyguards were shot at by four unidentified gunmen on Oct. 8 in Brgy. Babaclayon of the said town after attending a fiesta event.
One of Rebato’s men was killed while he only sustained wounds, while one assailant was also killed by the ex-mayor’s security personnel during the attack.
The police also arrested the second suspected gunman.
Rebato served as mayor from 2007 to 2016.
He is rumored to run in the 2019 local elections,