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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, October 22, 2018
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Police tag NPA
rebels as suspects


The Police Regional Office 6 yesterday tagged the New People’s Army as suspects in the mass murder of nine civilians Saturday night in Brgy. Bulanon, Sagay City, Negros Occidental.

Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, regional police director of Western Visayas, alleged in a statement that Under Oplan Bungkalan and Okupasyons, is a plan of the Communist Party of the Philippines- NPA to occupy private and government properties using their mass base.

This is the alleged motive behind the mass murder of nine farmers, he claimed.

Bulalacao also ordered the use of maximum police resources to speed up the arrest of suspects involved in the mass killing of civilians.

He also assured the families of the victims that they will not cease their efforts until the perpetrators are placed behind bars.

But former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said the Duterte administration and the Armed Forces of the Philippines should be held responsible for the massacre of the nine sugarcane workers in a farm in Sagay City

Colmenares and John Milton Lozande, secretary general of both Unyon ng Mangggawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), blamed the attack on the current administration and the AFP.

“That is really absurd because the issue of land is a legitimate issue. This is an attempt of the Duterte government to quell any form of protest by criminalizing legitimate demands,” Colmenares said in a statement yesterday.

Colmenares “vehemently condemned” the attack and recalled a statement of Brig. Gen. Eliezer Losanes, then commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, that the land cultivation areas (LCAs) being maintained by agricultural sugar workers and farmers in Negros Island were, in fact, communal farms of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

Renato Reyes of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan yesterday called for a swift investigation into the massacre of the nine farmers.

We condemn this atrocity and demand justice, Reyes said.

Bulalacao, who condemned what he described as “evil and cowardly act“of the perpetrators, ordered all police commanders in Western Visayas to exert effort to pre-empt and prevent similar incidents from happening, and stressed the need to also coordinate with the AFP and other agencies to ensure that it will not happen again.

The Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade yesterday condemned the attack against civilians in Sagay City.

While he condemned the attack against individuals in Brgy.Bulanon, Sagay City, Col. Alberto Desoyo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said they are also condemning the attacks on unarmed off-duty Civilian Active Auxiliaries, retired AFP personnel and barangay officials, as well as the burning of construction equipment.

“We condole with the families of the victims and we are looking forward to any ways of helping them to ease the grief,” Desoyo said.

“We do not condone their acts,” Desoyo said, apparently referring to the occupation of the property by the victims in Hacienda Nene, Brgy. Bulanon, Sagay City.

Having no land to own does not permit us to commit illegal acts of taking over the land of others, he said.

Desoyo urged everybody to be honorable, despite of all the hardship intheir lives.

“Honor is one of the few things that make us human,” he said, adding, “I discourage those who are sowing the belief that it is all right to take another’s property, another’s life”.*


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