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Philippine rebels own plantation manager's killing

LAST UPDATED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 8, 2012

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine communist rebels say they killed a rubber plantation manager and claim he is linked to the murder of a well-loved Roman Catholic missionary priest last year.

The southern Mindanao regional command of the New People's Army accused Patrick Winiger of being the "handler" of the paramilitary unit the rebels blame for killing the priest. The claim was emailed to journalists Thursday.

Police said earlier the 48-year-old Philippine-born Swiss was a military intelligence agent and was active in the government's anti-insurgency campaign.

Two men shot Winiger as he was buying vegetables at the Kidapawan city market early Wednesday.

Italian priest Father Fausto Tentorio was killed by a lone gunman inside his church compound in nearby Arakan township in October.

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