THE families of those slain by New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Moises Padilla sought out the assistance of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
In a letter addressed to Año, the families of the victims requested an investigation against two top level officials of Moises Padilla for alleged links to the NPA and the illegal drug trade in town.
They insisted that the killings were ordered upon by the said town officials. They expressed worry that the case will be forgotten as they pointed out that arresting an NPA member is difficult.
They added that the rebels have threatened to kill even up to family members of the victims. The families are also hoping that the government's action will end the cycle of violence.
They said they asked Año's help, as the DILG had recently stripped 189 local government officials of their supervisory powers to the local police for allegedly supporting the rebels or having ties to illegal drugs.
Earlier, the victims’ next of kin, along with their legal representation, met with Police Lieutenant Colonel Luke Ventura, head of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Negros Occidental (CIDG), at Camp Alfredo Montelibano in Bacolod City.
During the meeting, the family members said they wanted to know who gave the order for the killings.
The wife of the slain Moises Padilla Municipal Councilor, Jolomar Hilario, believes his murder was “politically motivated” and that a “local politician” paid the insurgent group to assassinate her husband.
The murdered town official was aligned with former Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña.
According to Ventura, charges have already been filed against several suspects and they are currently awaiting testimony from additional witnesses.
However, he pointed out, they have yet to receive the official case from the Moises Padilla Police Station.
Ventura said additional statements from witnesses can be added as a supplemental affidavit to other affidavits that have already been filed.
In a previous letter, the families also appealed for authorities to look into the sworn affidavits by Robert Sualog and Jully Opiar filed against Moises Padilla Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia-Yulo and Vice Mayor Adrian Villaflor, despite the court earlier dismissing murder charges against the two town officials.