PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night tagged the communist rebels in the killing of sugar farmers in Sagay City, Negros Occidental on October 20.
‘Yung style ng mga komunista, sila rin naman ang pumatay sa mga kasamahan nila. Pero sa atin pa rin isinisi [ang pangyayari],” Duterte said in a speech in Cebuano before land reform beneficiaries in Cagayan de Oro City.
Duterte issued the statement after the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said the nine farmers, all members of National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), were killed by paramilitary forces “financed by big Negros landlords and attached to the Philippine Army.”
The CPP also said Duterte and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are “washing their hands of blood” when police filed murder charges last week against several suspects, two of them members of NFSW who remain at large.
Negros Occidental Regional Police Office head Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao had said the farmers were recruited into the NFSW on a false promise that they would be given a share of Hacienda Nene in Barangay Bulanon if the group succeeded in occupying the land under the so-called Oplan Bungkalan Okupasyon.
Bulalacao added that the farmers were just duped and used by the communist New People’s Army for its land occupation plan.
“Yung mga miyembro ng federation na binaril kasama ang mga bata sila yun nagdala ng recruit. Ibig sabihin, basta makakita lang sila ng bakante na lupa, okupasyon. Miyembro ng pederasyon yung mga napilit nila pero nagsabi ang grupo na huwag niyo kami isama. Hindi sila nagkaintindihan kaya ayun pinagbabaril nila. Sobrang kawawa,” Duterte said.