BACOLOD CITY – The Philippine Army and the city government of Guihulngan, Negros Oriental condemned the killing of four civilians by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members in Sitio Agit, Barangay Trinidad last Friday.
The 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) identified the victims as Ronelo Quirante, 56; Roger Fat, 46; and Rodrigo Lubay, 46, and his wife Sherryl, 44.
Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), said the victims were suspected by the NPA as informants responsible for the encounter last March 23 between the 62nd IB and the NPA. Ten NPA rebels were killed in the clash.
Pasaporte said four unidentified armed men entered the houses of the victims and shot them dead.
Pasaporte said Fat and Quirante were reportedly members of the NPA but they were even murdered by their comrades for having false information about them. He added that the other victims had no connection or affiliation with the NPA.
Pasaporte said the Army, condemns in the strongest term the terroristic acts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA, as he called on the people of Guihulngan to remain steadfast in their goal of ending the rebels’ violence against the innocent civilians in the locality.
Pasaporte assured the residents that the Army will continue to ensure peace and development in the area as he noted that the insurgency situation in the area is manageable.
Meanwhile, Capt. Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the 3rd Infantry Division, clarified that Oscar Ventura, who was initially reported dead, survived the gun attack.
Guihulngan Mayor Carlo Jorge Joan also condemned the murder of the civilians.
“This is simply too much hardship and pain inflicted to the people of Sitio Agit, Barangay Trinidad. Leave us in peace,” Joan said.
He called on all the people of Guihulngan and the law enforcement agencies to unite against these atrocities.
Lt. Col. Melvin Flores, 62nd IB commander, expressed their sincerest sympathies to the families of the victims.
Flores said the families of the victims were left traumatized by the barbaric acts of the terrorist group.