Survivors of Sagay massacre
MANILA, Philippines — Covering themselves with a malong and wearing a face mask are mother and son who survived the Sagay massacre where 9 farmers, four women, and two minors were killed by armed men at Hacienda Nene, Purok Pine Tree, Brgy. Bulanon, Sagay City on October 20.
The mother who survived the massacre is accusing authorities of compelling her son, Lester, to testify against the New People’s Army (NPA) and prove that the group was behind the Sagay massacre.
Lester’s mom fears that police will use his son to pinpoint innocent individuals.
“Kahit military nagsasabi rin na, the child can pinpoint na NPA daw ang gumawa nung massacre,” said Atty. Kathy Panguban, legal counsel of the survivors.
“Kaya lumayo iyong mag-ina sa Negros at nag-seek talaga sila ng sanctuary dahil patuloy silang hinahabol ng mga pulis, pinipilit na gawing star witness sa Sagay massacre,” she said.
The Sagay Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and two of his personnel are facing violation of Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, an allegation denied by the Sagay police.
“Wala kaming ginawang ganoon, ‘yung pinipilit. Wala kaming pinipilit na tao. ‘Yung allegation na iyan is actually fabricated iyan. Bakit naman namin pipilitin iyong bata? Tapos iyong bata po noong ininterview, pagsubscribe sa affidavit, nandoon iyong mismong prosecutor. Nandoon iyong ama at saka iyong DSWD na nagpasubscribe ng statement niya. Doon pa lang mismo malalaman na namin. May video kami niyan,” said Sagay City police chief PCI Robert Mansueto via phonepatch.
“Yung statement na NPA ang gumawa ng Sagay massacre, that came from the army infantry brigade,” said Panguban.
Lester’s biological father meantime is facing charges of violation of Republic Act 9262 or Violence Against Women and Children over the alleged abuse and harassment against his child and for forcing them to cooperate with the police.
“Nagpapatuloy iyong pananakot niya sa kliyente namin sa kanilang ina at pinipilit niyang makuha iyong anak; mabawi iyong anak at tinakot din niya na kakasuhan din daw niya pati iyong nanay ni Lester,” said Panguban.
As of now, the survivors are in a safe place.
The victims in the massacre were members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NSFW) who were participating in a campaign to occupy the idle lands which are not yet distributed to the beneficiaries. — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue