DAVAO CITY -- Ten armed men attacked a group of farmers who occupied a ranch owned by a prominent supporter of President Benigno Aquino III in Bukidnon province Wednesday, wounding two of the victims.

"The armed men formed a line, pointed their guns at us and fired," said one of the farmers, Erlinda Bacandon.

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Two of the farmers were hurt and have to be rushed to a hospital in Maramag town in Bukidnon, but Bacandon said many more farmers sustained bruises as they tried to run away.

Bacandon said the gunmen were armed with M16 and M14 rifles, shotguns and pistols.

The farmers were able to take dramatic pictures of the gunmen as they were fired at while laying flat on the ground.

"They just fired and fired their guns. Many of us tripped over the wired fences. We were terrified," Bacandon said.

Mansueto Jocaris, also a farmer, sustained a shotgun pellet wound on his arm and was rushed to a nearby hospital in Maramag town.

Also rushed to the hospital for treatment was Fe Panelo, whose face was nearly crushed when one of the gunmen kick her as she lay on the ground to cover.

Bacandon, who heads the Nakagawa Dologon Farmers Association, said they took shelter at a covered court beside the barangay hall in Dologon, Maramag after the incident.

"We are scared to go back. We have to look who among us are injured," Bacandon said in a phone interview.

Efforts to get the side of Roberto Montalvan, owner of the ranch and a prominent supporter President Aquino in the town, failed. Text messages to Poling Lorenzo, reportedly the president of Montalvan Ranch, also went unanswered.

Bacandon said around 100 members of the Nakagawa Dologon Farmers Association occupied the 200-hectare ranch operated and owned by Montalvan, one of the pioneers in Bukidnon province, for the last 25 years under an Agro-Farm Lease Agreement. This agreement, however, had already expired, she added.

Bacandon said hours after they occupied the ranch Wednesday morning, the gunmen arrived on a truck.

Police are still investigating the incident. (Froilan Gallardo/Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro/Sunnex)