4 dead, 2 wounded in Bukidnon attack due to land dispute
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental, Philippines – Four persons were killed as members of one family attacked their neighbors in a village in Lantapan town, Bukidnon, in the morning of Sunday, Nov. 27, police said.
The attack took place in Sitio Kiabacat, Barangay Songco in Lantapan, according to a report from the Bukidnon Police Provincial Office.
Investigators identified the dead as Rocky Cruz, 33, male, married, with a gunshot wound in the back of his head; Rachel Cruz, 19, female, with a gunshot on her left breast; Winlove Sinto, 30, male, wutg a gunshot wound on his chest; and Daniel Lugnasan, 54, male, with hack wounds on his face.
Two others — a certain Mael Lugnasan, 30, and a minor — were wounded.
Police identified the suspects as certain Julie Saway, Dindo Saway, Elfredie Saway — all of legal age, and residents of the village.
Three other unidentified individuals were seen forcibly entering Mael Lugnasan’s house and shooting the victims with a still unknown firearms.
Police said the attackers then proceeded to another house owned by Daniel Lugnasan and hacked Daniel with a bolo.
In a phone interview, Col. Reynante Reyes, Bukidnon provincial police director, said the incident could have been triggered by a land dispute.
“Victims and suspects are both claimants of an 80-hectare ancestral land and both parties are neighbors in Barangay Songco,” Reyes said.
He added the town police had a record of the two sides’ conflicting claims.
On Sunday afternoon, tribal and village leaders and the victims’ family met to find ways to resolve the conflict and prevent the escalation of violence.
Reyes said they were trying to negotiate for possible settlement through tribal means.
Police are still hunting the other assailants.
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