Guihulngan mayor sues for peace after murders of 4 gov’t ‘informers’
BACOLOD CITY – The mayor of Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental has appealed to communist rebels to stop sowing fear and terror in their place following the killings of four persons inside their homes in Barangay Trinidad on Friday, May 14.
According to Mayor Carlo Jorge Joan Reyes, the victims may have been killed on suspicion of tipping off government troopers that led to an encounter in the same place last March 23 when at least 10 communist rebels were killed.
Reyes, in a statement, appealed for peace and an end to violence in Guihulngan.
“This is simply too much hardship and pain inflicted. Have sympathy for the people of Guihulngan. Leave us in peace,” said the mayor in a message addressed to communist rebels.
Authorities identified the fatalities in Friday’s attack as Ronelo Quirante, 56; Roger Fat, 46’ and couple Rodrigo Lubay and his wife Celerina, aged 46 and 44.
Initial police reports stated that the victims were killed after some armed men stormed at least three houses and shot the victims multiple times using high-powered firearms, including an M16 rifle at around 5 a.m. on Friday.
Reyes said the police are conducting an investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“The victims were killed inside the sanctity of their own homes. I call on our constituents and law enforcement agencies to unite against these atrocities,” he said.
“Let us work together so that these people can never sow terror in any single sitio (sub-village) in any of our 33 barangays,” he added
In a separate statement, the Philippine Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion said revenge may have been the motive behind Friday’s attack.
The military said members of the New People’s Army (NPA) believed the victims gave information to government troops about their whereabouts that led to the death of 10 rebels on March 23, 2021.
Friday’s attack was the third incident involving the NPA in Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City this year.
Aside from the encounter last March, another clash between suspected rebels and government troopers also occurred last January when the firefight lasted for more than 18 hours.
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