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Ex-rebels tagged in Sagay killings urge Duterte to probe NPA-linked solon

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The four communist rebels implicated by the Negros Democratic Front (NDF)-Negros in the killing of nine sugarcane farmers in Sagay City called on President Rodrigo Duterte to investigate a congressman in northern Negros, who is allegedly supporting the New People’s Army (NPA) by giving them firearms and ammunition.

Vito Lutrago, Eduardo Linogon, Rexi Robles, and a certain Rako, former members of the communist breakaway group, the Revolutionary Proletarian Army, were accused of murdering the farmers in Hacienda Nene last October 20.

In a Visayan Daily Star article, Ka Frank Fernandez of the NDF Negros said that based on the “exhaustive investigations” of the NPA Roselyn Pelle Command, the four ex-rebels were also “armed goons” of landlords in northern part of Negros.

Lutrago, Linogon, Robles and Macario Pedrano, who voluntarily surrendered to the Sagay City Police Station to clear their names, denied the allegations against them and stressed that they do not even know each other.

The four ex-rebels sought protection from the authorities, saying that they and their respective families have been receiving death threats.

Col. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, whose infantry units are helping the police in securing the families of the victims, said the Negrense politiko being accused as an NPA supporter should be invited to the congressional probe.

“Our interest here is not political, but to know the truth, if indeed, there is a congressman or politicians supporting the NPA. It is better that it should be known to the people, not only to the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Arevalo said.

The ex-rebels claimed that the congressman, whose identity they asked to keep secret, is also a drug lord.