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2 banana plantation workers hurt Kidapawan City strafing

Local News • 18:41 PM Sat Aug 8, 2015
Malu C. Manar
For illustration purposes only.

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Two banana plantation laborers were seriously wounded when an unidentified gunmen strafed a makeshift hut in a remote village here Friday. Senior Inspector Samuel Bascon, deputy chief of the Kidapawan City Police, identified the victims as Ryman Monteverde Polines, 20, of Purok-7, Barangay Lumbay in Tulunan, North Cotabato and John Rommel Arena Sasi, 24, of Barangay Malibatuan in Arakan, North Cotabato. Bascon said the victims were asleep in the hut when the suspects, armed with high-powered firearms, peppered bullets upon them at past midnight. Residents near the hut heard the shots and sought assistance from police and village guards. Barangay Kalasuyan chairman Fernando Ajero said that upon learning what happened, they immediately sent the victims to the nearest hospital for treatment. The victims sustained gunshot wounds in different parts of their bodies. Ajero said that few minutes after they left the hut, they saw the structure being razed to the ground.They, however, didn’t see any armed man getting out from the place. The hut was razed to the ground so that when the city’s fire truck arrived there was nothing to save,” Ajero said. Also, the police arrived at the area six hours later after the village officials made emergency calls. We didn’t know what happened at the police station.We were trying to connect to the PNP but there was no assistance from them.They arrived very, very late,” said Ajero. The village chair is still puzzled as to what caused the indiscriminate firing and the arson. The hut is owned by Pabling Omega, big-time farmer from Antipas town, also in North Cotabato.The victims work in Omega’s banana plantation. Initially, the victims denied having received death threats.They also have no personal grudges against somebody. But Ajero said they will try to dig deeper what caused the attack or if it was done to warn Omega. Reports reaching police that an armed group operating in the hinterlands of North Cotabato are extorting money from businessmen and plantation owners.

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