By Mark Garcia
Bacolod City — The supposed visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to the wake of the massacre victims at Sagay City was cancelled last night due to bad weather, Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said.
President Rodrigo Duterte (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez / MANILA BULLETIN)
The president was scheduled to arrive at the Sagay City Hall 12:30 p.m. Tuesday but the relatives, who have been waiting at the city hall since around 8 a.m., were informed that Duterte's visit was cancelled.
Castriciones explained that the president’s visit was aborted on the advice of his helicopter pilot that it would be very risky for them to push through.
The president was supposed to drop by Sagay City first before going to Camarines Sur to condole with the families of three policemen killed in an ambush, but changed his schedule and made Negros Occidental his second stop.
Castriciones was left with the task of explaining to the grieving relatives of the massacre victims that the President could not come and gave them cash assistance and cellular phones from Duterte.
He told them the president would be coming at a later date to visit them, and various government agencies will do their best to help the families of the massacre victims so that they will be able to recover from the loss of their loved ones, he added.
“There is an ongoing investigation into the massacre right now and the Philippine National Police is really getting to the bottom of this. The real perpetrators of this crime will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” Castriciones added.
Killed in the massacre at Hacienda Nene Saturday were Eglicerio Villegas, 36, Angelife Arsenal, 47, Paterno Baron, 48, Rene Laurencio Sr., 52, Morena Mendoza, 49, Marcelina Dumaguit, 66, Rannel Bantigue, 41, Joemarie Oghayon Jr., 16, and Marchtel Sumikad, 17, a police report showed.
Mendoza, Dumaguit, and Bantigue were also partially burned by their assailants.
About 150 people gathered outside the Sagay City Hall carrying streamers calling for justice for the slain farmers.*