By Aaron Recuenco
Police and military forces were sent to hunt down communist rebels who allegedly killed three lumad farmers in Buenavista town of Agusan del Norte.
Chief Supt. Gilberto Cruz, director of the CARAGA regional police, said the victims appeared to have been brutally murdered as since aside from bulletwounds, all the victims also suffered stab and hackwounds.
He identified the victims as Alfredo Tomaquin Jr., 61; Paka Pinatugaw, 47; and; Pina Pinatugaw, 48. They were residents of Barangay Simbalan in Buenasvista town and reportedly members of Higaunon and Dagatnon tribes.
“We strongly condemn the killings of lumads perpetrated by the NPA. We assure that justice will be served to the family of the victims,” said Cruz.
Based on the investigation, the three went to the farm owned by a Korean businessman also in Buenavista town on November 6. They did not come back.
It was the son of the 61-year-old victim who discovered the cadavers when he was forced to search since the families of the victims were already looking for them.
“They suffered multiple gunshot wounds and hack wounds which caused their death,” said Cruz.
The official said they have already relayed information and gave hotlines to local residents to inform the police if they have any information as to the whereabouts of the killers.
Hundreds of lumads have already lost their lives in the battle between communist rebels and the military in CARAGA region over the years.
The communist rebels and the military have been trading allegations as to who are responsible for the killing of lumads. Experts however said the lumads are victims of the insurgency problems in CARAGA.