Cops ready raps vs 20 in disputed land violence
SAN PEDRO CITY — Police are to file charges against more than 20 people after a mob, mostly settlers on a disputed land, killed two security guards who tried to help demolish the settlers’ houses in San Juan town, Batangas province.
PO1 Richard King Valenzuela, case investigator, said police have so far identified 20 men to be charged.
But Valenzuela said more could face charges as police continue to review the mobile phone video of the demolition on Monday.
The clash in the popular beach area of the village of Laiya-Aplaya was triggered by the arrival of a demolition team aboard eight buses that was to remove settlers’ houses and build a fence around the disputed land, which was being occupied by more than 100 families.
The residents attacked the demolition team, throwing rocks and bottles.
When the dust settled, police said Kennedy Ladia and a certain Estino, both security guards of JPS Security Agency and natives of Patikul, Sulu, were dead, while Nelson Ballega and Jerimias Garcia, who were with the demolition team, were wounded.
Militant group Pambansang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said residents Hermie Garcia, 60, Peter Tranzares, 50, and Kenneth Cerezo, 23, were badly hurt.
Valenzuela said police would file either homicide or murder charges against those who took part in the attack that led to the death of the two security guards.
On Wednesday, the Inquirer obtained a video clip from a government source showing a group of men with clubs attacking a uniformed guard later identified as Ladia.
The video was taken by a drone flown from a nearby resort.
It showed men carry the already unconscious Ladia to the middle of the road as several men continued bludgeoning him.
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