By BicolToday.com news team
MASBATE CITY – The families of 4 tricycle drivers shot dead by state troops and tagged as “rebels” in Cawayan, Masbate, may soon get justice after a lawmaker file in Congress a resolution mandating the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to probe the incident.
Lawmaker Rep. Scott Davies S. Lanete (3rd District, Masbate) has asked CHR to conduct a fact-finding investigation into the possible human rights violations committed during an encounter between government troops and alleged members of the New People’s Army in Cawayan, Masbate last August.
In House Resolution 2276, Rep. Lanete said information gathered by his office revealed that “overkill occurred and human rights violations were committed during the encounter between the two groups.”
“It is the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights to investigate all form of human rights violations, including the aforementioned incident,” Lanete said as he pushed for the probe.
“Incidents of this nature,” Lanete added, “should not be left in the dark and hurled towards the real of the forgotten but strictly condemned and looked into to avoid further human rights violations.”
It has been reported that a gunfight ensued between government troops and NPA members in Cawayan, Masbate at around 4:30 p.m. on August 3, 2015.
The alleged gunfight resulted in the death of a soldier and four suspected NPA members and injury to three soldiers.
But the initial findings by a human rights probe team revealed that the four alleged NPA members were actually habal-habal or tricycle drivers sent by Del Carmen Barangay Captain Silpicio Abilida Mahinay to help soldiers wounded during the rebel-staged ambush in Barangay Del Carmen.
Rogelio Mahinay, 27, single; Adam Fajardo, 34, widower with five children; Robert Badillo, 23, single; and Gary Vistar, 37, married, went to the site to respond, but Army soldiers allegedly intercepted them, shot them on the spot and identified them as “rebels.”
Lanete asked to the CHR to “initiate criminal proceedings against persons found liable to propose legislative measure that will provide stringent regulations in the curtailment of human rights violations of this nature.” [BicolToday.com]