The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Negros on Monday were directed to intensify their security operations following a rebel attack on a militia detachment that killed two farm workers and wounded two militiamen in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
Reports reaching the PNP National Operation Center in Camp Crame identified the two farm workers killed in attack by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) as Dionisio Ybañez, 41, and Jose Pios, 50.
Senior Supt. Harris Fama, Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NORPO) chief, said the farm workers were killed after the rebels attacked their bunkhouses at about 5 a.m. on Sunday in Hacienda Aliwanay in Brgy. General Luna in Sagay City in Negros Occidental.
Fama said all police units in his area of responsibility (AOR) were also directed to conduct simulation exercises in camp and station defense plans as part of the standard operating procedure.
The wounded militiamen were Sony Respundo and Jovito Lutrago, both members of the Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary of the military.
Police added that two other farm workers identified as Alex Garcia and Jomar Alcala, were taken as captives by the rebels who retreated while trading shots with responding forces from the PNP and the Philippine Army.
Garcia and Alcala were eventually released three hours after in Escalante City, adjacent to Sagay City, the police report said.
The police reports added that the victims were members of Aliwanay Farm Workers Association who have acquired ownership over the land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
It said that the militia detachment is surrounded by foxholes dug by the farm workers following death threats they received, allegedly from members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers who are also claiming ownership over the land.
The police report added that the slain farm workers were already in the hit list of the NPA.