NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte was forced to cancel his visit Tuesday, October 23, to the wake of the 9 farmers killed in Sagay City here due to bad weather.
Duterte was scheduled to arrive in Sagay City around 11 a.m.
Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones, who was in Sagay city hall where the bodies of the victims lie in state, said the President was “about to come, unfortunately, there was heavy rains in the airport in Bacolod.”
“He (Duterte) wasn’t able to push through because it would be risky for him to proceed. Besides it’s already nighttime,” Castriciones said.
Sagay City is about two hours away from Bacolod, the province’s capital city.
Castriciones said the President intends to come back but he was not certain as to the date.
“To show his sympathy and his concern to the relatives of the victims, he gave something that would console them… financial assistance and cellphone,” he said. He added “they would be able to remember that the President was really very sympathetic with regards to what happened to their relative.”
He also said the President expressed his deep sympathies to the families of the victims.
The President, who was expected at Sagay City around noon, went to Naga City first. He arrived at Bacolod past 7 pm. He cancelled his trip to Sagay City due to inclement weather.
On October 20, 9 farmers, including 4 women and 2 minors, were shot dead by unidentified armed men at Hacienda Nene. Three of the victims were burned by the suspects.
The victims, who belonged to the National Federation of Sugar Workers, occupied the farm owned by a certain Carmen Tolentino on Saturday morning.
A P500,000 reward was offered to anybody in exchange for the information that would lead to the capture of the perpetrators.
The police are still investigating the case. – Rappler.com