Caraga Region police director Chief Superintendent Gilberto DC Cruz has directed the police to conduct an intensive probe of Thursday’s killings of three Higaonon tribesmen in a hinterland village in Buenavista town, Agusan del Norte province.
“The culprits must be identified and arrested,“ Cruz said.
Cruz said he had ordered the Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office and Buenavista Municipal Police Station, along with police scene of the crime operations (SOCO) teams to resolve the murders.
The victims were identified as Alfredo Timaquin Sr., 61, and his two nephews, Paka Pinatugao, 47; and Pina Pinatugao, 48.
The three tribal folk were workers at a 50-hectare farm owned by Korean national Ryoo Wang-hyow in Sitio Labong, Barangay Simbalan.
Initial investigation conducted by the Buenavista MPS showed that the victims went missing after they were last seen leaving for work at around 6 a.m. last Tuesday.
After two days of scouring the village in search of the missing tribesmen, the bodies of the victims, who bore several gunshot and hack wounds were found in a grassy area inside Wang-hyow’s farm.
Earlier, Ka Omar Ibarra, spokesperson of the New People’s Army’s Western Agusan del Norte unit accused the paramilitary group Bungkatol Liberation Front (BULIF) of summarily killing the three tribal folk on suspicion of being supporters of the armed revolutionary movement.
Ibarra urged the Duterte administration to disband and disarm the military-backed anticommunist lumad militia, allegedly led by Higaonon chieftain Datu Bawang Eddie Ampyawan and bring the perpetrators to justice. By CLC