Solons seek probe on massacre of Negros sugar farmers

MANILALawmakers belonging to the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives are seeking a congressional investigation into the killing of nine sugar farmworkers in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Saturday night.

The seven-member bloc filed on Monday House Resolution 2262, directing the House committees on agrarian reform and human rights to conduct a joint inquiry into the shooting incident.

The Makabayan bloc consists of Gabriela Reps. Arlene Brosas and Emmi de Jesus, ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago.

Citing an initial police report, lawmakers said around 40 armed men fired at the sugarcane workers who were then resting in a makeshift tent in Hacienda Nene in Purok Firetree.

"The brutal killing is an outrage! There are no words enough to express our deep anger over the massacre of these farmers," Zarate said.

"We call on the House of Representatives to conduct an immediate probe on this matter," he added.

Police said the fatalities were members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW).

Police identified the fatalities as Eglicerio Villegas, 36; Paterno Baron, 48; Rene Dodong Laurencio; Rannel Bingbing Bantigue, 41; Angelife Arsenal, 47; Morena Mendoza; and Marcelina Necnec Dumaguit.

The two minors were identified as Jomarie Ughayon Jr., 16; and Marchtel Sumicad, 17.

The bodies of Mendoza, Bantigue and Dumaguit were allegedly burned by the assailants, the police report said.

MalacaAang has assured the families of the victims that the government will conduct a thorough and impartial investigation of the "dastardly act."

Families of the victims of this extremely cruel act can count on the government that it will enforce the full wrath of the law against its perpetrators, Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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