P500,000 reward up over farmers' slay in Negros Occidental
NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – A P500,000 reward will be given in exchange for information that would lead to the arrest of gunmen who killed 9 farmers at Hacienda Nene in Barangay Bulanon, Sagay City, on Saturday night, October 20.
This was announced on Sunday, October 21, by Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr, who went to the Sagay City Police Station to check on the case.
Marañon, whose hometown is Sagay City, condemned the attack on the farmers.
The governor said his son, Sagay City Mayor Alfredo Marañon III, will offer a P250,000 reward for information on the case.
He added that the provincial government will also give another P250,000, for a total of P500,000.
The fatalities, among them 4 women and 2 minors, belonged to the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW). Three of the victims were allegedly burned by the suspects.
The victims had occupied Hacienda Nene, owned by a certain Carmen Tolentino, on Saturday morning.
In the evening, some 40 armed men peppered the farmers' makeshift shelter with bullets, killing the 9 victims instantly.
Recovered from the scene were 12 pieces of fired cartridge cases of 5.56 caliber, 7 pieces of fired cartridge cases of .45 caliber, one homemade .38 caliber revolver with one live cartridge, and one piece of a fired cartridge case of .38 caliber.
The police are still investigating the incident.
"I have already issued orders to use maximum resources to ensure the arrest of the criminals so that justice may be served to the victims and their families in the soonest possible time," said Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, director of Police Regional Office-6 (PRO-6) in Western Visayas.
In a statement on Sunday, NFSW condemned the attack on its members and vowed to continue with "even bolder resolve to fight for genuine land reform."
Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao on Sunday also blamed the Duterte administration for the deaths of 9 people, including two minors, in Sagay, Negros Occidental.
Casilao said the incident was a clear case of mass murder and was "brutal and barbaric." Casilao said a "swift and impartial investigation should immediately be conducted."
Casilao said the victims were just asserting their rights through land cultivation initiatives. He condemned the attack.
"They were vilified and tagged as New People's Army members, which justified the filing of trumped-up charges, and worst, subjected to extrajudicial killings perpetrated by suspected state forces, paramilitary groups, or hired armed goons," he said. – Rappler.com