ILOILO City – Family members of casualties killed in latest Maayon incident confirmed that their relatives are civilian farmers and not members of the New People’s Army (NPA) as claimed by Lt. Col. Leonardo Peña, battalion commander of the 61st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA).
In a phone interview by Panay Today with relatives of the victims who requested to be not named, they identified the farmer victims to be Ian Borres and Lorendo Borres, cousins and natives of Brgy. Hibaca, Maayon in Capiz province.
According to them, the two farmers are resting after a days work in a makeshift house of their corn-farm together with three other farmers when a seven-member team of the 61st IBPA fired at them around 3:40PM yesterday, February 24.
The group of farmers immediately run in various directions after hearing the gunshots. The cousins were found dead in their corn-farm after the gunshots, their relative added.
The location of the incident is at Sitio Maknoy, which is between the villages of Hibaca and Old Guia in Maayon.
They added that the victims could have been mistakenly identified as NPAs because of their “holen-guns” which are used in hunting birds.
According to Lt. Col. Peña, they encountered the group of Ka Reagan or Romulo Gangoso around 5PM yesterday and claimed that the casualties are members of the NPA.
But the relatives immediately dismissed Peña’s accusations.
“They are just simple farmers who wanted to live peacefully. Right now, we actually fear for our lives as the military continue to deploy more forces in our barangay,” said a relative.
Yesterday, immediately after the incident, two Rio trucks full of soldiers were deployed in the area and another truck just this morning arrived, they added.
The bodies of the victims are still left in the area awaiting the police for investigation.
The relatives demand for justice after the incident. (panaytoday.net)