By Jeffrey Damicog
Respondents are expected to file before the Department of Justice (DOJ) Thursday (August 1) their response to allegations of their involvement in the 2018 Sagay City massacre.
Assistant State Prosecutor Fernando Fernandez said he had told the lawyer of National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) members Rene Manlangit and Rogelio Arquillo to file their counter-affidavits on Thursday.
Manlangit and Arquillo are facing a multiple murder complaint before the DOJ that was filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Aside from the two, Fernandez said the PNP has filed an amended complaint which included five more respondents, namely, Dario Dayanan, Edgar Cabiles, Jethro Danoso, and two others only known as Regan and a certain Klark.
Prior this, lawyer Luz Perez, the legal counsel of Manlangit and Arquillo, has assured the filing of the counter-affidavits but was unsure if her clients will still appear in the scheduled hearing.
The case was transferred to the DOJ’s National Prosecution Service (NPS) in Manila after the Sagay City Prosecutor’s Office and the Region VI Regional Prosecutor’s Office inhibited themselves from handling the preliminary investigation.
The complaint concerns the Oct. 20, 2018 killing of nine NFSW members inside Hacienda Nene in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
The victims were allegedly enticed to join the NFSW and were manipulated by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) to occupy the property as part of Oplan Bungkalan and Okupasyon.