Reward offered after cold-blooded massacre of nine sugarcane workers

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The tent where the men, women and children were sheltering before the massacre

A reward of 500,000 pesos has been offered to catch those responsible for the massacre of nine sugarcane workers in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.

Provincial Governor Alfredo Marañon condemned the killings and told reporters yesterday (Sunday, October 21) that his son, Sagay City Mayor Alfredo Marañon III, had put up a bounty of 250,000 pesos. He added that the local government would match the sum.

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“I directed the police to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident”, he said.

In a statement, Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao also condemned the killings. He said: “We condemn this evil and cowardly act of these criminals. I have issued orders to use maximum resources to arrest the suspects immediately so that due justice may be served to the victims and their families.

“I assure the victims’ families that we will not cease in our efforts until the perpetrators are placed behind bars.”

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According to the police, the victims were members of the National Federation of Sugarcane Workers who occupied the farm at Hacienda Nene on Saturday morning they were shot by about 40 men at about 9.45pm on the same day.

The male fatalities were identified as Eglicerio Villegas, aged 36; Paterno Baron, 48; Rene “Dodong” Laurencio; and Rannel “Bingbing” Bantigue, 41, while the females were Angelife Arsenal, 47; Morena Mendoza; and Marcelina “Necnec” Dumaguit.

The two children killed have been identified as Jomarie Ughayon, 16, and Marchtel Sumicad, 17.

President Duterte has announced he will visit Sagay City tomorrow (Tuesday, October 23), to condole with the families of the victims. Former presidential aide Bong Go spoke of the plans in a Radyo Pilipinas radio interview today. 

The massacre has also been widely condemned among the diplomatic community in Manila. In a tweet today, British Ambassador Daniel Pruce wrote: “Horrified by murder of 9 farm workers in Sagay City. A tragedy for the victims and their loved ones.” 

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