Armed Forces chief Gen. Carlito Galvez said Wednesday the killing of nine sugar farmers in Sagay City
was part of a wider sinister plot relative to the “Red October” communist
plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a press briefing, Galvez said the killing of the sugar farmers, all newly recruited members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers, an association founded by a National Democratic Front consultant, Luis Jalandoni, was part of the CPP-NPA “template” to incite public outrage.
READ: NPA blamed for massacre of 9 farmers
“We see here the intention of really putting the President and the government in bad light,” Galvez said, suggesting the communist rebels killed their own recruits
to make the administration look bad.
The sugar farmers were resting in a tent in the middle of the hacienda owned by Mrs. Carmen Tolentino when they were fired upon by unidentified gunmen
READ: Sagay slay victims NPA recruits—AFP
Galvez said the killings were patterned after the Kidapawan incident and the massacres at Hacienda Luisita and Mendiola, which he claimed were devised by the CPP-NPA to provoke outrage.
“The CPP-NPA is known for this,” he said. “They will kill just [for] propaganda.”
“I believe that is the grand plan, there is manipulation and deception,” he said, noting that the victims were given false promises that they would be given a hectare of farmland for P500.
Galvez also linked the Sagay City killings to the recent ambush in Camarines Sur on Food and Drug Authority chief Charade Puno in which three police officers were killed in an attack blamed on the communists.
“We see they are trying to sow fear and they are still around and they are force to reckon with,” Galvez said.
Galvez visited Sagay City Tuesday to pay his respects to the families of the nine slain farmers.
Earlier, Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde said that they had established some persons of interest
, one of them being the land owner.
READ: Farmers vs farmers eyed
Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao, meanwhile, warned government forces against using harassment or obstruction to cover up what happened in Sagay City.
Leftist groups composed of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, the Karapatan human rights group, Unyon ng Manggagawa Sa Agrikultura, NFSW, and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines have led a fact-finding mission to determine the truth behind the killings.
Casilao dismissed government pronouncements as “red-baiting” and “fake news.”
“When the victims are obviously poor and landless farm workers, demanding land and opposing against a landlord-warlord who is capable of employing a private armed group, the government’s red-baiting undoubtedly serves the interest of the powerful and not the victims,” Casilao said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who skipped a scheduled visit to the wake of the nine farmers because of bad weather attended a benefit dinner and concert instead in support of the advocacy projects of the Du30 Cabinet Spouses Association Inc.
Finance Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino, who was present at the event, said the President sang a number entitled “Ikaw.”
“He was not supposed to sing, but he was given the microphone. He sang very well. He did [sing] the whole song,” Lambino said in an interview after attending an economic briefing Wednesday. Nat Mariano
The Palace said Duterte’s visit to the family of slain farmers in Sagay has yet to be rescheduled. With Nat Mariano
READ: Massacre in Negros: 9 workers killed; land dispute eyed