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NPA tagged in Himamaylan massacre

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The suspects in the massacre of four family members in rebel infested Sitio Kangkiling, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, have been identified, revealed Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday.

Lacson however said he is still waiting for an official report from the Philippine National Police, as to the motive behind the gruesome murders of farmer Rolly Fausto, his wife, Imelda, and their two minor sons, aged 15 and 11 years old.

According to the investigation of the Himamaylan City police, witnesses revealed that the armed suspects shouted “Mabuhay ang NPA, Mabuhay ang Hukbo. Tanan nga traidor patyon (Long live the NPA, Long Live the Army. All the traitors must be killed,” after the shooting incident.

About 15 armed men were involved in the killing of the Fausto family members, the police added.

Police Executive Master Sgt. Ariel Sevilla, chief investigator of the Himamaylan City police, disclosed that they are encouraging witnesses to help them give justice to the victims.

The development bolstered claims of the military that prior to the incident, Fausto was negotiating for the surrender of some their relatives.

Fifty-three empty M16 assault rifle shells were recovered at the scene of incident, and all victims succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds, according to the police.

Lt Col. Van Donald Almonte, 94th Infantry Battalion commander, believes that the armed rebels are members of the remnants of the Regional Strike Force of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor.

The four victims were buried on Sunday at the public cemetery in Brgy. Aguisan, Himalayan City, as facilitated by the city government, amid cries for justice.

Himamaylan City Mayor Raymund Tongson disclosed that witnesses are coming out to help in the investigation into the brutal incident.

Aside from the police, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Negros Occidental also dispatched its investigators in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, to conduct a probe into the reported massacre of four members of a family on June 14.

MAKIBAKA Negros, in statement, welcomed the announcement of CHR to conduct an independent probe of the incident at the scene of incident.

Tongson disclosed that information provided by witnesses is helping uncover the motive of the incident, as well as in identifying the suspects.

Lacson said “the massacre of innocent civilians is an outrage to our morals, our values, and our commitment to peace and justice,” as he called on law enforcement authorities to lead an in-depth investigation into what he described as a “horrible act.”

Those guilty must be brought to justice as soon as possible, he added.*

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