MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights has sent a fact-finding team to probe the massacre of at least 9 sugar workers at the Hacienda Nene in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
In a statement Monday, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia also condemned the killing of the farmers who were claiming their rights on the land.
"It is most disturbing that death becomes the price of claiming one’s rights. This trend should not be allowed to continue anywhere and for any cause," she said.
De Guia called on the government not only to assure that justice will be served, but also to address the plight of the farmers on agrarian reform.
"CHR Region VI, through its sub-office in Bacolod City, has already sent a fact-finding team to find out the truth in the incident towards ascertaining accountabilities," she added.
The fatalities, who were members of militant group National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), had occupied the hacienda as part of an agrarian reform assertion campaign called "Bungkalan."
They were all gunned down while they were having dinner inside their tents on a Saturday night.
Police have linked communist rebels to the "Bungkalan" movement but NFSW has been explaining that their farmers were just cultivating idle farmlands that had been covered by agrarian reform.
The group said "Bungkalan" is their "response to resonate our campaign for genuine agrarian reform and free land distribution."