ABOUT 36 hours after a lawyer was gunned down by motorcycle-riding assailants, two siblings and a barangay captain were killed early Thursday morning, July 25, in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
The Guihulngan police reported that an unknown number of gunmen broke into the home of Arthur Cordevilla Bayawa, 55, principal of the Guihulngan National High School, and his sister, Ardale, 49, an official of the local Department of Education office, and shot the siblings to death around 12:55 a.m.
Responding police and rescuers rushed the victims to a hospital but they did not make it alive.
Less than an hour later, around 1:40 a.m., gunmen also entered the home of Barangay Buenavista Chairman Romeo Alipan, 64, in the same city, and shot him dead.
Police have no suspects yet in both shooting incidents.
The killings on Thursday brought to eight the fatalities in shooting incidents in Negros Oriental, including the four policemen who were allegedly executed in front of villagers in Ayungon town on July 18.
Five days later, on July 23, lawyer Anthony Trinidad was shot dead in Guihulngan as he was driving home from a court hearing in La Libertad.
Trinidad, who was based in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental but hailed from Guihulngan, was included in a “death list” released last year by the anti-communist group called Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista.
His wife Novie Marie and a pedicab driver, whose vehicle was hit after Trinidad lost control of his car, were injured.
Read: Negros Oriental police ask military for help as killings rise
Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of the Diocese of San Carlos issued a pastoral letter calling for justice and an end to the killings.
He also called for a unilateral ceasefire and demanded the pursuit of just and lasting peace by, among others, advancing the achievements gained during the peace talks between the government and the communist rebels. (Teresa D. Ellera)