ILOILO City – Human rights group Panay Alliance Karapatan strongly believes that the incident that happened early morning of August 15 was a massacre and not an encounter according to PNP/AFP story.

In their initial fact finding mission yesterday afternoon, Reylan Vergara, secretary general of Karapatan said that residents claimed that the seven victims were most probably in their deep sleep when they were peppered with bullets and brutally killed.

In an interview of Karapatan with a crew of the local funeral parlor where their bodies were brought for initial embalming, he said all were shot frontally and in close range as the bullets did not exit the victims’ bodies.

Vergara also said that all victims have bullet wounds in their heads and chests, a sign that these are finishing gun shots to ensure their deaths.

The #Antique7 are members of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army according to the AFP. No official statement has been issued yet by these organizations.

Karapatan condemns the mass murder of #Antique7 as violation to the international humanitarian law.

Vergara said that in wars, if the other party does not have the capacity to fight anymore, they should be considered as hors-de-combat and must be treated if wounded.

But in the case of #Antique7, even the residents are saying that shots were coming from the AFP/PNP side only.

Vergara also said that the victims did not have any signs of struggle and those grenades and rusted guns were planted because these did not match the bullets that were allegedly confiscated from the victims.

The #Antique7 were identified as follows:
• Jason Talibo
• Jason Sanchez
• Karen Ceralvo
• Liezel Bandiola
• Felix Salditos
• Elde Labinghisa
• Peter Mecenas

The massacre occurred in an abandoned village church in 7,Purok Barangay Atabay, San Jose, Antique around 12:10 a.m. yesterday, August 15.

Karapatan and the families of victims are awaiting the autopsy for further data on the deaths of #Antique7./


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