MAAYON, Capiz – Families of the two farmers slain by members of the 61st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) last February 24 called for the military troops to pull-out from their communities as victims are finally laid to rest last weekend.
Last March 11, about 500 mourners coming from families, friends, and progressive groups delivered Lorendo Borres, 48, to his resting place in their village cemetery in Jebaca of this town.
Ian Borres, 24, was earlier laid to rest on March 3 because the embalming process can no longer work on his body as it bore 32 gunshot wounds according to the village captain.
Lorendo, together with cousin Ian, were killed while on their way to get the former’s carabaos for fear of being stolen by men in plainclothes which later were identified as among members of the 61st IBPA.
The two, and three other farmers who were able to escape, were fired upon while approaching the grazing field of the carabaos by men in uniform while hiding behind tall grasses about 50 meters away.
“We want justice for my husband. The continuing presence of the military in our village endangers our lives. They should get out of our communities,” said Analy Borres, wife of Lorendo.
“Right now, no one is tending our carabaos at the farm. Our community is living in fear. No one dared go to their farm lands because of fear that they could be killed and will just be suspected as NPA,” Analy added.
Lorendo left behind his wife and two children, and his mother who is now on her own after her husband and daughter died couple of years ago.
Ian left behind his common-law wife Marjorie Dequino and four young children ages 5, 3, and 2 years old and a seven-month old baby.
“He is a loving husband and a father to us. He always makes sure that we have something to eat. He would work all-day for six days a week just to feed us. But why would they take away his life this early? What has he done wrong?” weeping Marjorie told Panay Today.
“Who will feed us now that he is gone? These military men have no souls and must pay for their sins against us,” she continued.
The 61st IB through Lt. Col Leonardo Peña has continued to spread false information that Ian and Lorendo are NPA.
In an interview with Bombo Radyo Roxas on the day of the incident, Peña claimed that they have encountered the group of Ka Reagan or Romulo Gangoso around 5PM that afternoon.
This was followed by another statement of Lieutenant Colonel Ericson Rosana, 3ID spokesperson in Panay News that the two farmers “were in the order of battle of the 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) and were newly recruited.”
This was refuted however by families and friends of Ian and Lorendo.
Maayon Mayor Wilfredo E. Borres, in a summary report of Panay-Alliance Karapatan, said that both were his relatives. Lorendo regularly came to him at his office and house, and they were not NPAs.
With the help of Karapatan, Analy and Marjorie have already filed a murder case last Monday, March 6, against the members of the 61st IBPA who are responsible for the death of their husbands. (panaytoday.net)
(See following story on the filing of cases.)