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PNP files multiple murder case vs suspects in farmers’ massacre in Negros Occidental

John Bulalacao

Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, director of the Western Visayas Police Regional Office (Photo by CATHRINE GONZALES / INQUIRER.net)

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has filed a multiple murder case against two recruiters of the nine farmers who were massacred last Oct. 20 in Sagay City, Negros Occidental, according to Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, director of the Western Visayas Police Regional Office.

John Bulalacao said the complaints were filed last Friday, Oct. 26, against Rene Manlangit and Rogelio Arquillo, who recruited the farmers to join the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) days before they were killed in Hacienda Nene.

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READ: 9 sugarcane workers gunned down in Negros Occidental

“Yesterday, Sagay City Police Station already filed a case of multiple murder against the recruiters,” he said in a statement.

Bulalacao said charges were also filed against several John Does who were also linked to the killing.

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According to Bulalacao, the police has already secured eight witnesses on the shooting incident who already gave their statements. He said one of them is a 14-year-old witness who survived the killing.

“All of them were willing and voluntarily signed their affidavits including the minor whom we turned over to the Local Social Welfare Development Officer who also witnessed the taking of the minor’s statement by our investigators,” Bulalacao said.

He noted that the statements of the witnesses point to one common ground — that “the recruiters deceived the victims and enticed them to join [NFSW] by promising them a parcel of land once their cause succeeds.”

He also said that investigation revealed that the farmers were victimized by the “Oplan Bungkalan” or “Oplan Okupasyon” of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.

He said this strategy preys on farmers by promising them land “not knowing that they become part of the greater force that would generate outrage against the government.”

READ: Negros farmers’ massacre a ploy to discredit gov’t – Albayalde

Bulalacao also slammed human rights defenders whom he said persuaded families of the victims to refrain from cooperating in the investigation.

He vowed that the PNP would surely bring justice on the massacre of the farmers. /atm

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READ: NPA involved in Sagay City slay? ‘Funny, scary,’ says farmers’ group

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TAGS: communist rebels, CPP, John Bulalacao, National Federation of Sugar Workers, Negros Occidental massacre, NPA, NSFW, Oplan Bungkalan, Oplan Okupasyon, Rene Manlangit, Rogelio Arquillo, Sagay massacre
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