MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Suspected communist rebels today killed a Philippine constabulary major near Clark Air Force Base, police and the military said.

Maj. Jose Samson Jr. was slain in the town of Mabalacat, 50 miles north of Manila, about 200 yards from a police station, a detective said.

On Oct. 28, rebels claimed responsibility for the killings of three Americans in ambushes in Angeles City, outside the U.S.-run base.

Police Detective Chrisanto Garcia said Sampson, 52, had just left his car when two suspected communist rebels shot him at point-blank range with .45- caliber pistols. Two other gunmen were acting as lookouts, Garcia said.

Also today, military chief Gen. Fidel Ramos said the armed forces killed 1,640 communist rebels and captured 350 in 1987. He told reporters that 5,473 communist guerrillas surrendered during the year.

Ramos said about 10 people were killed each day in incidents related to the communist insurgency in 1987, including four rebels, three civilians and three soldiers. The communist insurgency began 19 years ago.