PRO-7 orders probe into spate of killings in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental

Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - May 17, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Police Regional Office 7 has ordered a continuous investigation on the series of shooting incidents in two barangays of Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental allegedly caused by suspected members of New People's Army (NPA).

Just within four hours in the same day last Friday, the series of shooting incidents resulted into the death of four farmers and a mother.

Initial investigation revealed that the victims were believed to be military informant and former members of the NPA.

PRO-7 director, Police Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo, condemned the series of shooting incidents and directed the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) to conduct further investigation.

“Amo usab nga gikondenar ang ilang dili tawhanong binuhatan. Akong gitahasan ang provincial director sa NOPPO nga imbestigahan og hatagan og hustisya ang ilang kamatayon," said Montejo in a statement.

"Kini usab nga mga panghitabo, unta panghinuktukan sa mga gustong motapon sa walhong grupo nga way maayong padulngan ang inyong pag-apil sa maong grupo. Balik namo sa sabakan sa gobyerno aron mamuhi tang dunay kahapsay ug kalinaw nga way kahadlok ug kabalaka,” added Montejo.

In a statement released to the media, the PRO-7 said the incidents begun at 5 a.m. of May 14, when one farmer, Rogelio Quirante Fat, 45, was shot dead by four unidentified perpetrators while he was about to pasture his livestock in Sitio Panagtugas, Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City.

"Investigation disclosed that Rogelio’s assailants believed that he was a military and police informant. His wife, Mary Jane Fat together with their son, Carlito reported the incident at around 10:00 a.m. of the same day," said the PRO-7.

Fat's family suspected that the members of the NPA were behind the incident.

He was rushed to the nearest hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Just about 30 minutes after the incident, a couple identified as Rodrigo Pasinabo Lubay, 48, and Cerelina Montecino Lubay, 44, were also shot dead by still unidentified suspects.

The victims' son reportedly said his father was about to take a bath in the river, 50 meters away from their house, when they suddenly heard a burst of gunshots.

"Thereafter, his mother followed immediately to check the burst of gunfire was also shot by the same suspects. Allegedly, victims were once supporters of the CTG/NPA but were suspected as informants of the government troops and believed to be summarily executed," the PRO-7 statement further reads.

Approximately 30 minutes after, still in the same day, another shooting incident happened in Sitio Agit in the same barangay wherein another farmer was found dead while he was pasturing his cow, a hundred meters away from his house.

Authorities identified the victim as certain Ronelo Lara Quirante Sr., 56, was suspected to be a government informant wherein authorities eyed to be a reason behind his death.

At around 8:30 a.m., a certain Gretchel Ferolino Ledesma, his son, and their neighbor, Mary Jane Paborada of Sitio Taklongan, Barangay Linatuyan, were allegedly met an unidentified armed suspect in Sitio Taklongan of the said barangay.

"Without apparent reason pointed the gun at the victim and fired hitting Gretchel on the right eye and fell unconscious. The witnesses heard the suspect saying in vernacular, “NPA ko, tug-an mos mga police kay gubat jud ni ron” prompting the witnesses to run and asked for assistance," said the PRO-7 statement.

Ledesma was then immediately brought to the nearest hospital for medical care but was declared dead on arrival.

Police investigation further revealed that Ledesma was tagged by the members of the NPA as “informant”. — GMR (FREEMAN)

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