BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The city government of Guihulngan in Negros Oriental is offering a bounty of P500,000 for any information that would lead to the identification and arrest of those behind the killing of Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan and her husband, Edwin.
Guihulngan City Administrator Karen Lisette Molas said yesterday that the amount being offered is also applicable to other killings in Guihulngan City since 2017, whose suspects have yet to be identified.
Molas said that a Special Investigation Task Group was already formed to lead the probe in the killing of the Sancelan couple on Dec. 15 in Brgy. Poblacion, Guihulngan, and perpetrated by two suspects on a motorcycle.
Guihulngan Mayor Carlo Jorge Joan Reyes has strongly denounced the murder of Dr. Sancelan, who was the chief of the city Inter-Agency Task Force and also a member of the Task Force ELCAC or Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict.
These atrocious acts of violence have disrupted the period of peace that was recently enjoyed by the city because of the cooperation and surrender of many former New People’s Army rebels, Reyes said in a statement issued by the LGU.
Reyes called on members of the TF ELCAC, especially the law enforcement agencies, to exert their best effort in bringing justice to all victims of execution-style killings.
Dr. Sancelan had been Red-tagged by an anti-communist vigilante calling itself KAGUBAK.
Reyes said that violence is not condone by TF ELCAC and is anathematic to its ultimate goal of solving the insurgency problem through peaceful solutions.
He added that the city’s previous offer to reward anyone who can give information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators still stands, apparently also referring to other unsolved killings since 2017.
San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza called on the Philippine government to conduct an “impartial and serious” investigation in the continuing bloodbath in Negros Island, since 2017.
“Sad to say, you know, until now, we are still expecting a clear result, if there’s at all, of serious investigation about it,” Alminaza said in an interview with ANC.
“That’s what precisely we’re asking, a serious, impartial investigation will be conducted, not only about the death of Dr. Sancelan but all the other people who were killed,” he added. “I think it’s important that now we seriously look into this problem because we can’t wait anymore for many other people to be killed before we take action on this,” Alminaza added.*