14 dead in Negros Oriental police operations

Gilbert Bayoran (The Philippine Star) - March 31, 2019 - 12:00am

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines —  Fourteen people were killed and 12 others were arrested in simultaneous police operations in Negros Oriental yesterday.

A report of the Philippine National Police Directorate for Integrated Police Operations office in the Visayas said eight were killed in Canlaon City, four in Manjuyod and two in Sta. Catalina.

The report identified the fatalities as Steve Arapoc, Manolo Martin, Sunny Palagtiw, Gene Palmares, Eric Acabal, Ano Enojo Rapada, Gonzalo Rosales, Franklin Lariosa, Melchor Panared, Mario Pañares, Edgardo Avelino and his brother Esmael and Rogelio and Ricky, both surnamed Recomono.

Personnel of the Negros Oriental police and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, who conducted the operations, said the suspects resisted arrest and opened fire when served warrants for various charges.

The suspects reportedly yielded two rifle grenades, two fragmentation grenades, seven caliber .45 pistols, 13 caliber .38 revolvers, a 357 Magnum revolver, two shotguns, two improvised guns, various types of ammunition, four cellular phones and subversive documents.

Cop wounded

A police officer, who has yet to be identified, was wounded in the gunfight with the suspects.

The police operations, which were backed up by Army soldiers, was carried out under the Synchronized Enhanced Managing Police Operations or Oplan Sauron.

The Leonardo Panaligan Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) and human rights group Karapatan condemned the killings.

The groups said six civilians were killed and more than 50 others were apprehended in joint military and police operations last December.

Karapatan-Negros secretary general Clarizza Dagatan said among those killed was the chairman of farmers’ group Hugpong Kusog sa Mag-uuma sa Canlaon City, Edgardo Avelino.

Dagatan said Avelino was shot by unidentified men who entered his house in Barangay Panubigan, Canlaon City.

Canlaon Mayor Jimmy Clerigo confirmed that eight persons were killed and several others were arrested in the city.

Clerigo said he received reports that some of the fatalities were NPA supporters.

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