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Guv: Police findings on Himamaylan massacre credible

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Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday described as “believable” on the findings of the police on the massacre of four members of a family in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, while government critics insist that the military was behind the gruesome incident.

During a press briefing on Thursday, one of the two witnesses positively identified the New People’s Army as behind the massacre, which involved a group of 15 armed men led by Fernando Hermino, a squad leader of Central Negros 2 under the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor, disclosed Himamaylan City police chief PLt. Col. Reynante Jomocan.

Jomocan said they have already secured the judicial affidavits of the witnesses, who are residents of Sitio Kangkiling, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, where Rolly Fausto, his wife Emilda, and their two minor sons were brutally killed.

The two witnesses and the surviving daughter of Fausto are currently under government custody.

Rolly was a former member of the Yunit Milisya of the NPA who returned to the folds of law and helped the military in convincing some rebels to surrender, according to Jomocan.

The National Solidarity Mission (NSM), which is composed of multi sectoral groups, disputed military and police claims that the massacre was perpetrated by the New People’s Army, who earlier issued a statement linking the Philippine Army to the incident.

Ariel Casilao, chairperson of the Union ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, in a press briefing at the Negros Press Club, alleged that witnesses were forced to testify and follow a script provided by the PNP to paint the NPA as perpetrators.

We expect them not to agree with the military report, which has witnesses to prove that it was done by the CPP-NPA, Lacson said.

Being on the government side, of course, I put value on the military report, he stressed.

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raoul Manuel, who joined the press briefing, said he and other Makabayan bloc members, including  Deputy Minority Leader France Castro of ACT and Asst. Minority Leader Arlene Brosas of Gabriela, filed on June 19 House Resolution 1091 calling on the House Committee on Human Rights to investigate the massacre of the Fausto family.

The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division strengthen its claims on its innocence as the PNP preliminary investigation findings showed that the tragic and merciless killings of four Fausto family members were perpetrated by the CPP-NPA.

In a statement, the 3ID stressed that the police investigation is founded on credible witness accounts and concrete evidence, in stark contrast to the falsehoods and deceitful claims propagated by the CPP-NPA and their associates, out of sheer desperation.

As to claims that the NTF ELCAC (National Task Force Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict) is designed to harass communities and kill individuals being Red tagged, Lacson, chairs of the PTF ELCAC in Negros Occidental, said we don’t expect them to side with the government,” stressing also that communities in far flung areas which used to be insurgency affected, and former rebels, benefitted from the government programs and projects.

“They have a different mission. They will never side what government is doing. In the meantime, government will just continue with its programs,” the governor further said.*


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September 2023

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