In a statement testified before the Sagay Police Station at around 2PM yesterday, Nove Bantigue, niece of Rannel Bantigue, who is among the victims of shooting incident in Bulanon, Sagay City, narrate to authority how the organiser of National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) deceitfully recruited her uncle.
It was the day after the family finally laid their loved one to rest when Nove decided to break her silence over the bloody incident on October 20 this year
“My uncle was recruited by a certain Rene Manlangit, NFSW organizer, because he was promised to have parcel of the land in Hacienda Nene.” As she begin her statement “My uncle was just two days old member with that group when the shooting incident happened”
Nove later narrated how surprised her family is with the decision of Rannel to join the group considering that they have past land dispute issue with Manlangit.
“My mother, Josephine Bantigue, wife of Ronnel’s brother, is a former member of Agrarian Reform of Task Force Mapalad (TFM). It is also an association that aims to acquire land for farmers. Unlike the NFSW, TFM does not believe in armed struggle. They are legal organization and does not have NPA as armed protector.”
“My mother’s group planned to grow and soon harvest the farm product in Hacienda Nene but the tenant, Tessie Cabras, was enraged about it and filed robbery and grave coercion case against my mother’s group. It was also the time when Manlangit took my mother’s decision very seriously. At the time when warrant of arrest was released, Manlangit even escorted the police officers to my mother’s location. My mother was jailed for six days but was released after the tenant decided not to pursue the case because she learned that my mother was the wife of her friend.” She expressed in details
Nove added “There were more or less 15 new recruits and my uncle was among them with the promise of owning a land. This I think is the reason why all of them were enticed to join the group. Manlangit and his group NFSW are the only suspects of this crime.”
Nove learned that during the incident, Manlangit was in the area when the brutal killing is happening. “He was there. Manlangit even reported the incident to the police and informed them with the intent to delay their response of an exaggerated 40 number of assailants. Why will he do that?” Expressed in deep anger.
“That is why all of us, families of the 9 victims, strongly believe that the assailants are from there, from their organization or whom they know. There could have been more people alive by now if only Manlangit did not deceived the authorities of a bloated number of assailants which is the reason for the police to wait for back up.”
“With the turn of event, there is no way or reasons that our soldiers are involved in that incident. They were not there. It is easy for us to identify new faces in our community that is why we are very certain that our soldiers don’t have the hand on this incident. The culprits did this to pin the blame to our soldiers.” She concluded