Attack on farmers’ group leaves one dead, four wounded in Capiz
ILOILO CITY – A farmer died and four others were wounded in President Roxas town in Capiz about 4:40 p.m. Saturday when unidentified men fired on a group of land beneficiaries who had occupied a property granted to them by the government.
Lanie Factor, deputy national coordinator of farmers group Task Force Mapalad, identified the fatality as Orlando Eslana who was pronounced dead on arrival at the Bailan District Hospital in Pontevedra town.
The four wounded were Melinda Amyo-Eslana, Anna Bocala, Nida Amo, and Adel Vergara.
Amyo-Eslana is in critical condition, according to a survivor, who asked not to be named for fear of more attacks.
“They tried to ram us with a tractor,” the survivor told the Inquirer in a telephone interview. “When we refused to budge, a man pulled a handgun and shot (Eslana). I dived and kept on rolling on the ground as I heard more gunshots.”
The survivor said the gunmen were relatives of Ferdinand Bacanto, administrator of the property.
They were among about 60 grantees who each received a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA). On Tuesday, they occupied the land that was awarded to them by the government in 1997 in Barangay Culilang in President Roxas and Barangay Dulangan in Pilar town.
The property has not been turned over to the CLOA beneficiaries due to the opposition of Ferdinand Bacanto, administrator of the land owned by the now deceased Nemesio Tan.
The police stations of President Roxas and Pilar were still investigating the incident.
But the survivor said there were police officers near the incident, but they only came after the shooting. /atm