BANGUED, ABRA -- The bodies of a farmer and his two sons were found recently in Brgy. Dominglay, Licuan-Baay in Abra.
The victims were identified as Licuben Ligiw, and his sons, Freddie "Fermin" Ligiw and Edie Ligiw.
The bodies were found a week after they disappeared. The victims' bodies were brought back to their kin in Licuan-Baay on Saturday.
Edna Ligiw-Viste narrated that her father and brothers went to work in a plantation last week but did not return.
She believes that her father and brothers were tortured first before they were killed, as their hands were tied before they were buried in a shallow grave.
Members of Abra Human Rights Alliance blamed the military for the crime after receiving information that some members of the Philippine Army were seen near the area where the victims allegedly disappeared. Some military weapons were also allegedly seen in the area.
The 41st Infantry Battalion denied their involvement in the killings. According to Brigade Commander Col. Paul Atal, those involved in the crime were most likely very angry at the victims.
They added that one of the victims was a former member of the New People's Army (NPA) who surrendered to the government last year.
They said they are leaving the investigation of the crime to the police.
Meanwhile, Anakbayan condemned the "brutal murder" of the 3 farmers.
In a statement, the organization blamed the Philippine Army 41st Infantry Battalion for the crime.
Anakbayan said Freddie was supposed to give a testimony on how he was allegedly used by the military as a "guide" and a "human shield" in its operations against the NPA.
The organization also acknowledged the 3 victims as members. -- with a report from Marsman Daguio, ABS-CBN News Ilocos