Human rights body sending probers at ambush site-A A +A
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
THE national and regional offices of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) are sending investigators to the ambush site in Barangay Puso, La Castellana today (Wednesday) to conduct a fact-finding investigation on the incident.
The ambush last Sunday resulted in the death of nine persons, including a policeman, who reportedly was the target of the attackers, suspected to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
Romeo Baldevarona, head of CHR-Bacolod, said Human Rights Commissioner Etta Rosales ordered the investigation, adding that about 10 investigators are coming to the ambush site.
He said local investigators conducted Tuesday an initial probe, and that they are gathering documents pertaining to the incident from the police and military.
The results of the independent investigation will be submitted to Rosales.
Killed in the ambush were Police Officer 1 (PO1) Richard Canja, a resident of Barangay Cabacungan, La Castellana, who sustained a gunshot wound in his head; Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) members Ulysses Tamayor, Jonathan Mateo and Ramir Complesa; civilians Virginia Ordonez and Lito Lucban, both of Barangay Cabacungan; civilian driver Ricky Dingcong; and barangay tanods (village watchmen) Mario Ricablanca and Tiotimo Esplegera of Barnagay Puso.
Wounded were PO3 Constantino Villegas, PO2 Jeffrey Alvarez, Bonifacio Bayate, Cristoto Perolino, Jerry Lacquedo, Roger Bajar, Jamil Roma, Victoriano Donasco, Jason Ocsimar, all residents of Barangay Cabacungan.
The victims were on board a canter truck used by the policemen and the BPATs who were requested to secure a benefit dance as part of the fiesta celebration of Barangay Puso when they were waylaid.
Senior Superintendent Celestino Guara, provincial police director, said that based on the survivors’ accounts, members of the NPA were responsible for the attack.
He cited the statement of one of the survivors who is a member of the Philippine National Police that they have already monitored the presence of armed men in the area.
Guara said the survivor was surprised to see armed men alight from the truck they were riding and launch the ambush.
He also discounted reports that it was a group of illegal loggers who staged the ambush, because of the kind of firearms used by the attackers that included high-powered guns such as AK-47 and Armalite rifles.
Guara said the civilian residents of Barangays Puso and Cabacungan in La Castellana have expressed fears for their lives after the incident that they have asked police and military personnel to secure their respective areas.
He said the 302nd Brigade of the Philippine Army will set up a detachment in the area.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 30, 2013.