By Nonoy Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) operating in Zamboanga del Norte set ablaze a passenger bus after its operator reportedly refused to pay revolutionary tax to the rebel group.
Police Regional Office in Zamboanga peninsula (PRO-9) Chief Supt. Emmanuel Luis D. Licup Saturday said five suspected members of the Secom Feliciano A group, operating in the four municipalities of Zamboanga Del Norte, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Licup said the bus was travelling from Liloy to Godod in Zamboanga del Norte at around 8 p.m. when it was stopped by heavily armed men.
He said one of the suspects introduced his group as belonging to the NPA, and told the driver, “you’re always passing here without paying taxes to us.”
Police identified the bus driver as Deonilo Asman Bucan, 48, and a resident of Barangay Poblacion, Godod, Zamboanga del Norte.
His three bus helpers were identified as Leo A. Lomondaya, Nelson Dominding Ambahang and Celso Dominding Ambahang.
Bucan told investigators the rebels then asked all of them to disembark from the bus, before they set the SGS liner on fire in Barangay Pucay, Salug, Zamboanga del Norte.