BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The Army has reported today the killing of four civilians by Communist rebels in the upland village of Trinidad in the Oriental Negros city of Guihulngan for reportedly passing on to soldiers information about the New People’s Army.
Second Lt. Mary Joy De Guzman, 62nd Infantry Battallion civil-military operations officer, identified the victims in a news release as Ronelo Quirante, 56; Roger Fat, 46; and the Lubay couple – Rodrigo, 46; and Celerina, 44.
De Guzman told DNX in a separate phone interview that the Lubay couple were about to take a bath just outside their house around 4am when armed men shot them to death.
Fat and Quirante, meanwhile, were killed inside their homes.
It remains unclear if they were killed in front of their families as the police continues to investigate, De Guzman said.
Residents in the area, however, told soldiers the four civiku3are known supporters of the NPA in Agit, a far-flung sub village in Trinidad that is a reputed rebel-influenced area.
The Army dispatch added the four gave rebels food, shelter and whatever assistance they need.
After killing the four, the suspected rebels ordered other supposed “informants” to flee the area.
Army Lt. Col. Melvin Flores was quoted as saying that he condemns the violence perpetrated on the four is not only illegal but “has no place in society.”
The Army believes the rebels wanted to get back at the four for the battlefield losses they have suffered from government forces including the death of rebels during the 23 March encounter also in Agit.
Guihulngan City, around 120 kilometers north from here, is on the Oriental side of the island and figured in the news recently for extra judicial killing including the couple Edwin and Mary Rose Sancelan, both government employees, who were shot by still unknown killers on 16 December 2020.
Activists blamed the killing on what they allege as a State-supported anti-Communist group.
Eleven years ago, peasant leader Rene Quirante was killed in the same village, a death human rights groups blamed on government.