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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, October 23, 2018
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Duterte in Sagay today


President Rodrigo Duterte will visit the wake of the nine massacre victims in Sagay City, Negros Occidental, today, Christopher “Bong” Go said yesterday.

Go, former Special Assistant to the President, told the DAILY STAR the president is expected in Sagay City at about noon.

The initial itinerary of the president includes a meeting with Army officials and a stop at the Sagay City Hall.

Nine members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers, including four women and two minors, were killed in the massacre in Hda. Nene, Barangay Bulanon, Sagay City, Saturday evening after they had entered the property and set up temporary shelter.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the massacre of nine sugarcane workers would affect efforts to resume peace talks with the communists if the New People’s Army was really behind the killing.

Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said “We, in the Labor department, condemn the massacre of the hapless unarmed sugar workers and their family in Negros”.

“The cowardly act has no place in our civilized society, coming as it is when the prevailing industrial peace is threatened by spiraling costs of basic commodities and services,” the DOLE chief added.

Bello added that the attack destroys the effort of the government in assuring the welfare of the workers in the country.

“This is a sabotage of the gains of the Duterte government in guaranteeing decent work, job security and blissful life,” he added.


Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri and Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) yesterday condemned the killing of the nine and called for in-depth investigations.

"I condemn this killing in the heart of sugarland which is an important sector of our economy,” Zubiri said.

This violence should not be happening in this day and age since all agencies of government are bent on empowering the farm sector and farm incomes to grow, he said.

There are ways to help the farm sector, specifically the sugar industry, Zubiri added.

“Let the fight be against poverty, not against defenseless farm workers," he said.

Benitez is also set to file a resolution in the Lower House calling on the appropriate committees to conduct an inquiry into the Sagay killings.

The killings should be condemned and proper authorities should hasten investigations and identify the perpetrators in order for justice to be serve, Benitez said.

It is the duty of the state to uphold the dignity and human rights of every person, and ensure their protection from heinous crimes, he added.*CPG/PNA


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