CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines (AP) — Philippine military officials say suspected communist guerrillas have shot and killed a town mayor while he was traveling in a convoy with army troops from a charity event in the south.
Regional military commander Maj. Gen. Ricardo Visaya says at least three New People’s Army rebels opened fire with M16 rifles and wounded Mayor Mario Okinlay in his mountain town of Impasug-ong in Bukidnon province Wednesday. Okinlay died later in a hospital.
Visaya says an army battalion commander was among army men in the convoy but the mayor, who was riding on a motorcycle in front of three vehicles, was the only one hit. The rebels fled when the soldiers returned fire.
The Maoist rebels have been fighting since 1969 in one of Asia’s longest running Marxist insurgencies.