NEW People’s Army (NPA) rebels Thursday morning, February 9, killed a suspected bandit and torched several heavy equipment in Tikalaan village, Talakag town, Bukidnon.

Senior Inspector Edwin Ipan, Talakag town police chief, said around 200 armed men on board two dump trucks abducted Lito Atoy whom the rebels subsequently killed at KM 26, Tikalaan village.

Ipan said the rebels initially identified themselves as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The armed men were later identified by residents as NPA rebels from the NPA's Front committee 6 led by Allan Juanito.

"Nagpaila sila una nga taga NBI kay nagsuot man ug itom unya ang kalo naay marka nga NBI (They introduced themselves as NBI since they wore black with NBI marked on their caps)," Ipan said.

Eyewitnesses said the NPA claimed Atoy was responsible for harassing farmers, robbery incidents, and other crimes in the area

But, Ipan said Atoy had long surrendered and changed his way of life.

"Gi-abduct daw kay daghan siya daotang binuhatan kay bandido man siya sauna pero nag-surrender na siya ug nagbag-o," Ipan said.

After killing Atoy, the rebels burned down one backhoe, one self loading dump truck, one transit mixer, one power wash and a generator set which they carted from Mindanao Rock Corporation, a road project contractor, at KM 28, Tikalaan.

Authorities are still verifying reports that the NPA abducted a certain Police Officer 2 Anthony Natividad assigned at the Kalilangan, Bukidnon municipal police station.

Ipan said Natividad was on board his motorcycle heading to the Regional Police Office-Northern Mindanao at Camp Alagar, Lapasan, this city, to undergo medical examination required for his schooling when allegedly abducted by the rebels.

"Amo pang gi-verify ang report sa pag-abduct sa police. Posible nga pagbalik niya nag-short cut siya og dalan ug timing nga nag-checkpoint ang NPA sa KM 28, (We are verifying the report that he (Natividad) was abducted. It is possible that when he returned, he took a short cut and came across an NPA checkpoint at KM 28)" Ipan said.

Ipan also said the NPA released a retired army whom they tried to abduct in the area.

"Pagkahibalo nila nga retired na ang army dugay na, ila dayong gibuhian," Ipan added.

Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesperson of the 4th Infantry Division, said the military is now conducting a pursuit operation against the NPA unit responsible for the attack who fled towards the Lanao del Sur route.

Martinez said there will be no let up in going after the NPA.