NPA breakaway group seen behind farmers’ massacre in Negros Occidental

Marje Pelayo   •   October 22, 2018   •   2889

Courtesy: PRO 6

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) condemns the massacre of sugar farmers in Hacienda Nene in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last October 20.

According to DAR Secretary John Castriciones, they have formed a task force to investigate on the incident which led to the death of nine individuals including two minors.

Based on initial report, the incident happened around 9:45 pm when the victims were about to rest inside a makeshift shelter after a day’s work.

“So what transpired was actually a land occupation. When you say land occupation, this farmers entered the premises of the plantation without any legal basis at all,” said Castriciones.

The DAR Secretary clarified that the slain farmers were not agrarian reform beneficiaries.

DAR Undersecretary Luis Meinrado Pangulayan added that the site was privately-owned and was never covered by the government’s agrarian reform program because the owner already distributed parcels of land to 25 donees since 1988, even before DAR started issuing notices of coverage.

According to a source of the agency, the gunmen were members of a revolutionary proletarian army, a New People’s Army (NPA) breakaway group turned private army for some private land owners.

Authorities, however, are still verifying the said information.

The newly formed Task Force Sagay will determine what help the agency can provide to families of slain farmers, particularly legal assistance.

The DAR is also looking for available land that it can distribute to the affected farmers in the area.

The government is currently working to revive the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform program to properly distribute over 500 hectares of land in different parts of the country to potential beneficiaries. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

Negros Occidental to supply pork meat in ASF-infected provinces

Marje Pelayo   •   September 24, 2019

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – The Provincial Veterinary Office of Negros Occidental assures the public that the province remains free from African Swine Fever (ASF).

According to Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Renante Decena, they are strict when it comes to implementing biosecurity procedures and animal practices within the province.

Likewise, paraveterinary workers are constantly assisting the veterinarians in conducting regular rounds to pig facilities across Negros Occidental .

Currently, the province has about 4,000 pigs in surplus above its monthly consumption and it is planning to send these to ASF-infected provinces like Aklan and Cebu.

“We persuaded them [Aklan and Cebu] to amend their EO [because they have seen the] biosecurity [of the] province,” Decena said.

Earlier, the provinces of Aklan and Cebu issued executive orders banning the entry of pigs and other pork products from Luzon.

Decena said they may now supply pork meat to these areas after they were given go signal.

“We were given the chance to enter the market,” he concluded. – MNP (with reports from Lalaine Moreno)

LGU delcares dengue outbreak in Murcia, Negros Occidental

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 2, 2019

The local government of Negros Occidental has declared a degue outbreak in Murcia due to over 300 percent increase in cases of dengue in the area.

READ: Dengue cases spike to over 100K – DOH

Mother Julita Alartino worries about her son 18-year-old son who has been diagnosed with dengue.

“Kinakabahan nga ako, hindi ako mapakali. Okay man siya tumigil na ang kaniyang lagnat kahapon kaso nagkaroon siya ng rashes at mababa ang kaniyang [platelets] pinapakain ko siya ng prutas, (I worry and I feel restless. His fever subsided since yesterday but he has rashes and his platelet count is low. I give him fruits to eat),” she said.

Julita did not come to work in order to care for his son.

From January 1 to 20, there had been 160 reported cases of dengue in Murcia. This is 344 percent higher compared to the 34 cases reported in the same period last 2018.

READ: Malacañang open to considering return of Dengvaxia amid spike in dengue cases

“I decided to declare [dengue outbreak]. Kaya nag-purchase ko ng fogging machine (So I purchased a fogging machine) —emergency purchase for that alone,” according Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas.

Meanwhile, the local government continues to conduct its information campaign on how to prevent dengue.—AAC (with reports from Lalaine Moreno)

Sea turtle found dead in Negros Occidental, plastic found in animal’s rectum

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 27, 2019

Courtesy: Bill Kratzer

A sea turtle was found dead by a local resident in Valladolid, Negros Occidental last Tuesday (June 25).

According to Barangay Chairman Bill Kratzer, the turtle had visible damage on its tail and shell. They also found plastics coming out of the animal’s rectum.

The sea turtle was around 3 feet long and about 2 feet wide. There is still no official cause of death.

The sea turtle was buried around 5:00 p.m. on the same day in the area where he was found.—AAC

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