Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones yesterday said they are verifying information that former members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army, who have allegedly become private goons, were responsible for the Sagay 9 massacre.
Rep. Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod), former national commander of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade, asked what the DAR secretary’s basis was for making such claim.
Paduano, who was known as Carapali Lualhati when he was with the RPA-ABB, pointed out that Castriciones who is based in Manila, was pointing a finger at the RPA-ABB when the police in Negros Occidental did not even tag the group as suspects.
“He is in Manila and he is making conclusions from there, there should be an in-depth investigation,” Paduano said.
He said he and Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) are filing a resolution in the House seeking an investigation on the killing of the nine civilians who occupied a piece of land supposedly covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
“We are calling all concerned agencies, including the Department of Agrarian Reform, to stop issuing statements that are causing confusion and wait for the results of a deeper and airtight investigation,” he said.
“There should be no sacred cow. No one should be spared as long as there is a fair investigation so the truth will come out and the victims can be given real justice,” he said.
The RPA members broke away from the mainstream New People's Army in 1992 due to ideological differences. Five years later, the RPA-ABB national was formed.
They entered into peace negotiations with the government in 2000, that have yet to be concluded.
But in 2011, the group was converted into a people’s organization called Kapatiran.
Paduano said Castriciones should not make unfair accusations,
“I do not know where he is coming from and what is his bias. I am not defending the Kapatiran group, but we should have a deeper investigation to identify the real culprits,” he said.
The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office said in a statement that all angles were being looking into to establish the motive for the killing of the nine who belonged to the National Federation of Sugar Workers.*
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