MANILA - Investigators are looking at the possible involvement of the communist New People's Army and the Revolutionary Proletarian Army involvement in the deadly shooting of 9 farmers in Sagay, Negros Occidental, its mayor said Monday.
The fatalities, all members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers, allegedly occupied a private land in Hacienda Nene on Saturday night. They were eating dinner inside tents when they were shot by 5 to 6 gunmen, initial reports said.
"The police is looking at these 2 groups (NPA and RPA) that could be part of what happened here," Sagay Mayor Alfredo Marañon III told ANC.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The PRA, meanwhile, is the military wing of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas, a splinter group from the CPP.
The "barbaric" shooting and torching of the fatalities indicate that the assailants harbored hatred for the farmers, said Marañon.
Investigators are pursuing "several leads," the mayor said, but declined to give details.
The provincial and town government are offering a reward of P500,000 for information that would help solve the massacre.