GUNMEN killed nine members of a farmers' group who occupied part of a privately owned sugarcane plantation in Sagay City, Negros Occidental, police said Sunday, October 21.
The victims, who included four women and two minors, were resting in a tent shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday, October 20, when about 10 gunmen opened fire, police said. At least four farmers survived the attack.
Human rights watchdog Karapatan identified the fatalities as Eglicerio Villegas, Anelife Arsenal, Dodong Laurencio, Nec Nec Dumaguit, Bingbing Bantigue, Marchel Sumikad, Jomarie Ughayon Jr., Morena Mendoza, and a certain “Pater”.
Ughayon Jr. and Sumikad were only 17.
The victims were members of the National Federation of Sugarcane Workers (NFSW) and were involved in "Bungkalan", a land cultivation campaign, in a vacant lot in Hacienda Nene, Purok Pine Tree, Barangay Bulanon, Sagay City.
"We call on the Commission on Human Rights to conduct an independent and thorough investigation on the massacre. We are one with the kin of the victims in the Sagay massacre in their call for justice," Karapatan said in a social media post Sunday.
Sagay police Chief Inspector Roberto Mansueto said at least two of the victims may have fired back at the attackers because spent pistol and shotgun casings were found in the area.
"Witnesses say they heard only a few initial shots. Apparently the victims were just being threatened," Mansueto told reporters."But later, there seemed to have been an exchange of fire."
WATCH.Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. answers questions from the media on the killing of nine persons at Barangay Bulanon, Sagay City Saturday night.|GYMPosted by SunStar Bacolod News on Saturday, October 20, 2018