NEGROS Oriental, Philippines – At least 21 people – 17 civilians and 4 policemen – were killed following a string of shooting incidents in this province in just 10 days, from July 18 to July 28, 2019.
Most of the victims were in their homes when armed men attacked them in the wee hours of the day.
The killings continued in the month of August, claiming at least 4 more lives. We have listed the killing incidents, who the victims were, where the killings took place, and the manner with which they were carried out.
The first casualties are the 4 police intelligence officers – Corporal Relebert Beronio, Patrolman Raffy Callao, Patrolman Ruel Cabellon, and Patrolman Marquino de Leon of the 704 Mobile Force Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion in Central Visayas – ambushed by the New People's Army (NPA) in Barangay Mabato in Ayungon town. The 4 victims, who were set up for the ambush, were supposed to meet their contact in the village, who turned out to have links with the rebels.
The chieftain of the village, Sunny Caldera, who was also tagged in the killings of the policemen, dies 5 days after the ambush. He allegedly drank pesticide. More than 20 suspects are tagged in the ambush-slay of the policemen, 8 of them already arrested and charged.
Lawyer Anthony Trinidad from San Carlos City in Negros Occidental is killed in Guihulngan City. Aboard a sports utility vehicle with his wife and a client, they are waylaid by unknown assailants who shoot them at close range. The lawyer dies at the hospital, his wife sustains injuries, while the client is unscathed.
Rebel returnee Weny Alegre and Felimino Janayan, leader of a farmer's association, are gunned down by 4 unidentified men on two motorcycles in Zamboanguita town. The victims, also on board a motorcycle, were on their way home when they were attacked by the suspects and shot at close range.
In Dumaguete City, resident Yngwie Malmstien Fabugais who was watching television inside his home, is also shot several times by two unidentified men who enter his home. The police have yet to establish the motive for the killing.
In Guihulngan City, Arthur Bayawa, a school principal and his sister, Ardale Bayawa, an official of the local Department of Education office, are shot dead inside their residence. Unidentified armed men barge into their home and kill them while they were asleep.
About 45 minutes later, Barangay Buenavista chief Romeo Alipan, is killed in Guihulngan, too, after his home is invaded by armed suspects. In Siaton town, Raklin Astorias of Barangay Maloh is shot to death by motorcycle-riding assailants. On board a motorcycle, the victim is attacked by the unidentified perpetrators.
In another shooting incident, Reden Eleuterio of Ayungon town is gunned down by unidentified men on a motorcycle. The victim dies on the spot. In Sta. Catalina town, a family is attacked by unidentified suspects, killing the father, Marlon Ocampo, and his one-year-old son Marjon. His wife and another child are wounded in the shooting.
Fedirico Sabejon of Siaton town is also killed in his home. The victim is shot dead by unidentified motorcycle-riding suspects. He is declared dead upon arrival at the hospital.
Armed men in the wee hours of the morning storm the home of Councilor Ramon Jalandoni in Barangay Panubigan in Canlaon City. They forcibly enter the house of the victim then shoot him with an unknown firearm. After a few minutes, Barangay Panubigan chief Ernesto Posadas in Canlaon is also killed after armed suspects attack his residence.
The suspects in the two Canlaon killings flee on a getaway vehicle. They also spray-paint the messages “Traidor sa NPA (Traitor to NPA)” and “Mabuhay ang NPA (Long live the NPA)” on the walls, fences, and vehicles of the victims.
Over at Ayungon town, still on the same day, armed suspects barge into the home of former mayor Edsel Enardecido in Barangay Tampocon 1 and kill him and his cousin, Leo Enardecido. The former mayor is a cousin of the lawyer killed on July 23.
Barangay Bucalan tanod Anaciancino Rosalita is shot dead at the Oval Public Market in Canlaon City, also in the same Panubigan village. While walking in the area, he is followed by an unidentified man who peppers him with bullets. He is the last victim for the month of July.
Joshua Partosa, a Grade 11 senior high school student, is gunned down by 4 assailants aboard two motorcycles in broad daylight in Sibulan town. Walking with his two siblings to school, the victim is shot by one of the suspects. He tries to escape but suspects catch up with him and shoot him again. He is also stabbed in the neck.
On the same day, a barangay kagawad and a former kagawad are gunned down in separate shooting incidents in neighboring Negros Occidental.
Former kagawad Fernando Toreno is shot dead by unidentified suspects on board a Ford Everest, in Barangay Kamaliskis in Salvador Benedicto. An hour later, 3 suspected assailants aboard a motorcycle are intercepted in neighboring San Carlos City. One of the suspects yields a caliber .45 pistol with magazine and ammunition.
After 4 hours, over at Moises Padilla town, Kagawad Raul Fat is shot to death by two unidentified men near the village hall in Barangay Macagahay. Two suspects approach the victim at the clinic then shoot him at close range. The two assailants, along with their 4 companions, who serve as lookout, flee the scene on foot.
Cristal Faith Jastiva of Bago City is shot to death by two assailants aboard a motorcycle while she is waiting for a pedicab at Magsaysay Avenue in Bacolod City, just a few meters from the Bacolod City Police Office headquarters. The victim had just come from the Metro Bacolod District Jail-Male Dormitory, which is adjacent to the city police office, to visit her partner. She is approached by the assailants who then shoot her at close range.
Meanwhile, Colonel Romeo Baleros, director of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, has ordered his men to implement heightened security measures, particularly at the boundary of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental.
At least 300 Special Action Force commandos were deployed to Negros Island to augment the local police units in their anti-criminality campaign. – Rappler.com