Negros doctor said to be on vigilante hit list killed alongside husband

Negros doctor said to be on vigilante hit list killed alongside husband
Doctor Rose Sancelan (left) and her husband Edwin Sancelan (right) in this undated photo.
Karapatan Negros / Release

MANILA, Philippines — A doctor who was allegedly placed in a hit list by an anti-communist vigilante group was shot dead along with her husband on Tuesday evening, rights group Karapatan reported.

Karapatan said a two people onboard a motorcycle shot Rose Sancelan and her husband Edwin Sancelan dead in Barangay Poblacion, Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental.

The rights group said the doctor, who also heads the city’s inter-agency task force against COVID-19, was number one on the hit list of Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista (Kagubak), a supposed anti-communist vigilante group which has been blamed for the spate of killings on Negros island.

The doctor was tagged as JB Regalado, spokesperson of the Leonardo Panaligan Command of the New People’s Army in Central Negros, Karapatan said.

The rights group noted that along with the doctor, lawyer Anthony Trinidad and Heidie Malalay Flores have also been gunned down after their names appeared on the alleged hit list.

“This is the extreme danger of being red-tagged,” Bayan Muna chairperson Neri Colmenares said in a statement. “State forces and their cohorts may just assassinate you with impunity.”

The existence of Kagubak was among the issues probed by the Senate public order committee in 2019, when it investigated the string of killings in Negros Island. Among its recommendations was to investigate the group so that appropriate charges may be filed against them.

RELATED: Senate report recommends PNP, AFP to probe its men over Negros killings

Despite the killings, the Philippine National Police in 2019 said it found no evidence that Kagubak exists— Xave Gregorio

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