An alleged New People’s Army (NPA) member shot himself dead at a police-military checkpoint in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, Monday afternoon, police said.

Hernando Basiya, a known member of the NPA, succumbed to a bullet wound on the head, Chief Insp. Manuel Castillo, officer-in-charge of the Sto. Tomas Police, said in a text message.

The incident occurred around 3:45 p.m. in Brgy. San Rafael.

Authorities consider the incident as a case of suicide, Castillo said.

According to the official, the Sto. Tomas Police earlier recieved an information from the Air Force’s 740th Combat Group and the Army 202nd Brigade’s intelligence personnel that Basiya, also known as Edwin Villarin, will pass by the barangay.

Members of the 740th Combat Group, Batangas Provincial Public Safety Management Company, and Sto. Tomas Police then conducted the checkpoint to intercept Basiya, who was “facing several warrants of arrest,” Castillo said.

Basiya was eventually spotted inside a Toyota Grandia (JOW-928), which the Air Force personnel flagged down.

As the vehicle stopped, former Mayor Samuel Bueser of Alaminos, Laguna and his driver got off, Castillo said.

The Air Force personnel also told Basiya to alight but he did not do so, until a shot was heard, according to the police official.

When members of the 740th Combat Group, led by 1Lt. Edgar Rivera, opened the door at the passenger side, Basiya fell on the road with a bullet wound on his head, Castillo said.

The soldiers recovered from the vehicle the caliber-.45 pistol believed to have been used by Basiya.

It was not immediately known why Basiya was riding with Bueser. (John Roson)

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