NEGROS POLICE DEBUNKS CLAIM MINOR-SURVIVOR ‘ILLEGALLY ARRESTED’
SCENE OF THE CRIME. The site at Hacienda Nene, Purok Firetree in Barangay Bulanon, Sagay City, where the nine Negrense farmers were killed, was visited by ranking military and police officials on Tuesday afternoon (October 23, 2018). (Photo courtesy of PIA Negros Occidental)
BACOLOD CITY -- The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) debunked the allegation of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) the minor-survivor of the massacre in Sagay City was “illegally arrested”.
The statement was issued by NOCPPO on Wednesday evening after the militant group posted on its Facebook page earlier in the day an “Urgent Alert” of the supposed illegal arrest of the minor, quoting Atty. Kathy Panguban of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL).
“The statement of NFSW was meant to deceive the public and disrupt the investigation,” the provincial police office said.
NOCPPO said the boy was sent to the custody of the Social Welfare and Development Office in Sagay City with the consent and in the presence of his own father.
The provincial police furnished reporters a copy of an excerpt of the blotter report which stated the boy’s father appeared at the police station and endorsed his son to the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) Office headed by Salvacion Esopenosa without being forced, coerced, intimated or promised of any reward.
The NFSW also stated in its post the NUPL lawyer “was set to assist his (referring to the minor) grandparents to turn him over after being held in custody of the CSWD.”
However, the provincial police office said, “the grandparents mentioned by the NFSW who were supposed to fetch the survivor are not his legitimate grandparents.”
The NOCPPO also said obtaining the statement of the survivor is a part of the investigation and the minor, who came from a traumatic incident, was turned over to the social welfare custody to help him recover.
The nine victims of the massacre at Hacienda Fe in Barangay Bulanon were shot dead on the night of October 20 after their group occupied the sugarcane farm in the morning of that day.
They were identified as Eglicerio Villegas, Paterno Baron, Rene Laurencio, Rannel Bantigue, Angelife Arsenal, Morena Mendoza, Marcelina Dumaguit, Jomarie Ughayon Jr., and Marchtel Sumicad.
The fatalities, which included two minors, were members of the NFSW. (PNA)