'Cops wore masks during ops where 14 died in Negros'
MANILA - Police officers covered their faces during some of the operations in Negros Oriental where 14 people were killed last week, a Commission on Human Rights spokeswoman said Friday.
"Sa halos lahat ng operasyon, sinasabi ng biktima na ang operatiba ay nakamaskara o kaya ay nakatakip ang mukha. Ito ay taliwas sa kanilang PNP manual of operation," spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia told radio DZMM.
(In almost all operations, the victims say the operatives wore masks or covered their faces. This is a deviation from the PNP manual of operation.)
While the investigation is still at its early stages, De Guia said the CHR is focusing on finding out whether or not the search warrants were served to the individuals, who are reportedly farmers, before they allegedly fought arrest.
"In some instances, may napakita raw pero sa iba, wala," she said.
(In some instances, it was shown; but in others, there was none.)
She noted, most of the supposed firefights were inside the victims' homes, but there were also some who were killed outside.
Families and witnesses told ABS-CBN News that the police executed their victims “tokhang” style during the Saturday pre-dawn raids.
The casualties were suspected communist rebels, including partisans or urban fighters, linked to foiled assassination plots against state forces, according to Police Col. Raul Tacaca, the regional director.
The Internal Affairs Service of the Philippine National Police is currently investigating the matter. Police General Oscar Albayalde has relieved the heads of police of Negros Oriental province and 3 towns to ensure impartiality.