By Ali G. Macabalang and Malu Cadelina Manar
Kidapawan City – A former member of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) was shot dead Friday night in Magpet, North Cotabato, a place known for heavy presence of combatants and sympathizers of the New People’s Army (NPA).
The fatality was identified as Sergeant Ronel Vale Galupo, 43, a member of the Philippine Army assigned to the PSG based in Davao City.
A radio report, quoting the Magpet Municipal Police Station, said Galupo was coming out of his residence in Barangay Poblacion at 6:05 p.m. Friday, when two armed men approached and shot him in the head and chest.
A separate report said Galupo was riding his Honda 150cc motorcycle on his way home when he was gunned down.
Galupo died on the spot due to bullet wounds from .45-caliber pistols. His assailants fled quickly aboard a motorcycle, the report said.
Galupo had just retired as an enlisted Army personnel under the 56th Infantry Battalion of the 10th Infantry Division based in Davao City after a stint in President Duterte’s PSG.
Grieving relatives suspect that Galupo’s assassins were members of the NPA Sparrow Unit operating in Magpet and nearby areas bordering North Cotabato and Bukidnon.
It will be recalled that Magpet is the place where suspected NPA gunmen kidnapped Senior Inspector Menardo Cui, the local deputy chief of police, last December 28.
Cui’s wife, who had been suffering from Stage-4 cervical cancer, died last January 3 in what relatives described as a fate aggravated by her husband’s captivity.