By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Police Regional Office-6 (PRO-6) over the weekend announced they had filed multiple murder raps against the suspected gunmen involved in the murder of nine National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) farmers last week.
PRO-6 director, Police Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, identified two of the suspects as Rene Manlangit and Rogelio Arquillo, while the rest are temporarily identified as ‘John Doe.’
According to Bulalacao, they have secured eight complainant-witnesses, one of which is a minor, who have given statements.
He said the eight voluntarily signed their affidavits.
The witnesses, themselves, were also present during Bulalacao’s press conference.
Based on witness testimony, NFSW recruiters deceived the victims and enticed them to join, promising them a parcel of land.
Investigations by police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as part of “Oplan: Bunkalan/Okupasyon,” also unveiled New People’s Army (NPA) involvement.
Bulalacao explained, the said NPA program is an agrarian revolution persuading innocent people by promising them land while unintentionally becoming part of a greater force to generate outrage against the government.
“Let this incident be an eye opener to everyone not to be persuaded by the promises of these groups claiming they want to help the people when all they have are their selfish and ill motives to put down the government,” Bulalacao said.
NFSW, meanwhile, also issued a statement blaming “private armies,” maintained by landlords in the area, echoing earlier allegations offered by the NPA./DGB, WDJ