La Castellana added to
election watch list
BY GILBERT BAYORAN
The Provincial Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center yesterday added La Castellana town to the list of Election Watchlist Areas in Negros Occidental, due to the recent brutal killing of eight civilians and a policeman by a group of armed men.
This brought to 12 the number of towns and cities in Negros Occidental placed on the Comelec and police watchlist for possible occurrence of election-related violence and because of the presence of armed groups.
Senior Supt. Celestino Guara, caretaker of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, yesterday said that La Castellana falls under Category 2, due to the existence of armed groups in the area.
condemn brutal attack
BY CARLA GOMEZ
A peace group in Negros Occidental and the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Bacolod yesterday condemned the ambush that left nine dead and 12 injured, most of them civilians, in Barangay Puso, La Castellana, Sunday.
Bayan Negros, meanwhile, said human rights were violated with the killing of civilians.
The Peace Advocates of Negros condemned what it called the “treachery of an act where unarmed and unsuspecting civilians pleading to be spared were shot, many in the head, obviously to ensure that they do not survive. No motive is so compelling, no cause so demanding and no ideology so righteous that it will justify the murder of so many innocents,” in their statement.
BY GILBERT BAYORAN
The police are now validating the names that cropped up in their investigation as the suspects in the “massacre” of civilians in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, on Sunday.
Senior Supt. Celestino Guara, caretaker of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, yesterday said they have the names of suspected New People’s Army rebels, including their three or four local fighters who served as guides, based on intelligence reports and accounts of civilians.
Eight civilians and a police officer were killed, while 12 others were injured in the ambush, allegedly perpetrated by about 15 to communist rebels. The NPA, however, has not issued any statement, in connection with the incident, so far.