Progressive groups lead probe on spate of killings in Guihulngan City
CEBU CITY -- “Murag gihimo na nila nga killing field and syudad sa Guihulngan (It seems like they turned the City of Guihulngan into a killing field),” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) chairperson for Central Visayas Jaime Paglinawan said Friday, September 15.
The group, together with Karapatan Central Visayas, an alliance for the advancement of people’s rights, will spearhead the Mercy Mission and Fact-Finding Mission on the successive and ceaseless killings in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental on September 14 to 15.
“The killing spree of residents of Guihulngan by suspected elements of the state happened after the July 21 ambush of the NPA among members of Guihulngan PNP. Reportedly and according to some witnesses, the series of killings have the same pattern. The victims were gunned down by riding in tandem,” said Dennis Abarientos, spokesperson of Karapatan Central Visayas.
Niño Olayvar, spokesperson of Anakbayan Cebu, said one of the first victims of extra judicial killings after the ambush incident was Glen Absin, a former member of the League of Filipino Students-Cebu.
Olayvar added that in just two months, there were already eight cases of EJK in Guihulngan City alone.
Included among the victims of EJK in the city were Leboy Tecson, the vice-chairperson of Pamalakaya- Guihulngan and Oscar Asildo Jr., a Bayan Muna organizer and worked as a bookkeeper in DepEd Division Office in Guihulngan.
Nick Abasolo, chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Cebu said that members of a peasant organization under KMP and their families also received death threats.
“The series of killings and threats among local leaders of farmers’ organizations as well as their allies has planted an atmosphere of terror in the community while there was no action from the police to solve or give lead to the series of killings, so the culture of impunity prevails and created fear among the local people,” said Patrick Torres, Executive Director of Farmers Development Center.