THE suspect in the murder of three Agawa tribesmen three months ago was arrested by members of the Tubo Municipal Police Station.
Marlon Batuli, of Sitio Baclingayan, Tabacda, Tubo, Abra, who was tagged as the top most wanted person in the regional level for the fourth quarter of 2019, was arrested in the evening of October 17 in Barangay Kili, Tubo by virtue of warrants of arrest issued by Judge Elizabeth Bringas of Regional Trial Court Branch 58, Bucay, Abra for murder.
Batuli had gone into hiding after confessing he was responsible for the killing of Jansen "Ayban" Gabaen, Ronnie Macayba, and Pedro Sauyen, all of Agawa, Besao, Mountain Province.
The three men went fishing in a river near the village of Baclingayan, Tubo, Abra but failed to return home after a week.
A search party from Agawa sought the help of barangay officials of nearby Kili, Tubo, Abra and were able to find the shot, stabbed, and mutilated bodies on May 27, 2019 near the river, creating an uproar in Agawa and nearby barangays of Gueday, Lacmaan, Ambagiw, and Tamboan.
This alarmed the Baclingayan tribesmen who anticipated revenge attacks, and thus recalled home their children studying in other municipalities of Abra and Mountain Province.
The New People's Army also begun to intrude into the conflict, which prompted Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director Israel Ephraim Dickson to immediately bring together the Provincial Peace and Order Council (BPOC) chairmen of Abra and Mountain Province, the Municipal Peace and Order Council of Tubo and Besao, and the leadership of the BPOC's and Council of Elders of the affected barangays into a peace forum on July 16, 2019 at Camp Bado Dangwa.
During the forum, issues of the contending barangays surfaced and resulted in commitments to work as one in ensuring that no further violence would occur.
A pledge to work for resolution of the murders in order to afford justice for the families and relatives of the slain men was also extracted from all participants.