March 17, 2023

A timeline and brief analysis of the recent killings in Negros prepared by
Defend Negros #StopTheAttacks Network

NEGROS Island – The timeline of events detailing the spate of killings in Negros Oriental from July 22 to 28, 2019, points to state-sponsored policies and statements from President Rodrigo Duterte that encourage impunity and violence.

The killings of at least 16 civilians
in Negros Oriental towns were carried out in apparent retaliation to the July
18, 2019 ambush of PNP intelligence operatives to which the New People’s Army
has claimed responsibility.

However, President Duterte’s
vitriol-filled statements, reward offers, and hateful comments against human
rights defenders had only worsened the situation in Negros.

Based on initial reports, the victims
who were all civilians and noncombatants were killed by gunshot wounds —
either from Tokhang-style killings that happened in the early morning while
they were sleeping inside their homes, or ambushed in broad daylight by
motorcycle-riding, masked assassins believed to be death squad members.

The perpetrators of these attacks
were emboldened by state policies such as the Memorandum Order No. 32 and
Executive Order No. 70 and counterinsurgency operations that persistently
vilify and target civilians accused of links with the NPA.

While the President has ruled out the
declaration of Martial Law in Negros, following strong opposition from various
concerned sectors, we cannot be assured that the killings would stop nor
justice be achieved.

Negros is regarded as the hacienda
capital of the Philippines because of the prevailing land monopoly and
semi-feudal socio-economic conditions that continue to exploit farmers, sacadas and the rural population in the

Not only did President Duterte
neglected demands for genuine land reform and free land distribution, he
allowed landlords, sugar barons, warlords and hacienderos to prevail in Negros. He even undermined the collective
effort of farmers to cultivate the lands and assert for genuine agrarian
reform, calling this “anarchy”.

Instead of imposing more repressive
measures, the government must undertake serious and significant efforts to
address the root causes of the armed conflict — poverty and social injustice in

We add our voice to the popular
clamor to stop the cycle of violence in Negros.

Stop the killings! Justice and
peace in Negros!


  • July 18
    • Four (4) policemen
      were killed in an ambush in Mabato, Ayungon, Negros Oriental. They were
      Corporal Relebert Beronio, Patrolman Raffy Callao, Patrolman Ruel Cabellon and
      Patrolman Marquino de Leon.
  • July 20
    • Duterte
      visited the wake of the 4 and offered P1-million reward money for the arrest of
      the suspects
  • July 21
    • Peasant
      Epefanio Romano was arrested in Sitio Sook, Mabato, Ayungon, Negros Oriental in
      an apparent relation for the ambush of four policemen in Ayungon.
  • July 23
    • In Guihulngan,
      Atty. Anthony Trinidad was shot to death while his wife Novie Marie was wounded
      by unidentified gunmen.
  • July 24
    • Peasant
      Felimino Janayan, and Weny Alegre, were killed in Poblacion, Zamboanguita,
      Negros Oriental by still unknown assailants.
    • Bishop Gerardo
      Alminaza of San Carlos issued a pastoral statement to call for peace, an end to
      the killings in Negros, and the resumption of peace talks.
  • July 25
    • At around 1
      am, Arthur Bayawa, school principal, and Aldane Bayawa, a DepEd official, were
      killed in Barangay Hibaiyo, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
    • At around 1:40
      am, Barangay Chairman Romeo Alipan was killed in Barangay Buenavista,
      Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
    • At 8 am,
      year-old baby Marjon Ocampo and his father, peasant Marlon Ocampo, were killed
      in Sitio Tara in Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental.
    • Rakilin
      Astorias, a peasant was shot to death in Maloh, Siaton, Negros Oriental.
    • Peasant Reden
      Eleuterio was killed in Mabato, Ayungon, Negros Oriental.
    • National
      Democratic Front (NDF) denied that the New People’s Army (NPA) tortured the 4
      police personnel who were killed in an ambush in Negros Oriental.
  • July 26
    • At around 7:
      20 pm, Federico Sabejon, a peasant, was shot to death in Barangay 3, Siaton,
      Negros Oriental.
    • Onie Bangala
      and Nerie Joy Bangala, the alleged suspects in the ambush of 4 policemen were
      arrested in Carol-an, Ayungon, Negros Oriental.
  • July 27
    • At around 2:30
      am, former Ayungon mayor Edcel Enardecido, and Leo Enardecido were killed in
      Barangay Tampocon 1.
    • In a separate
      shooting incident, at about 12:00 MN, Councilor Bobby Jalandoni and Barangay
      Chairman Ernesto Posadas were killed in Panubigan, Canlaon City, Negros
    • Bishop Gerardo
      Alminaza of San Carlos issued the Oratio Imperata to end the killings in
      Negros, while all four Catholic bishops in the region denounced the murders.
    • Negros
      Oriental Governor Roel Degamo condemned the killings and said that local
      authorities are looking into the situation.
  • July 28
    • Peasant and
      barangay tanod Ananciacino Rosalita was shot to death in Panubigan, Canlaon
      City, Negros Oriental.
    • At 8:00 PM, churches
      and religious houses in Negros started the tolling of bells.
  • July 29
    • Peasants Rico
      Oracoy and Lito Cadusale were arrested in Bindoy, Negros Oriental.
    • Philippine
      National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde ordered the deployment of 300
      Special Action Force (SAF) troops to Negros island.
  • July 31
    • Duterte raised
      the reward money for the arrest of the suspects in the killing of the policemen
      to P5 million, dead or alive. He warned that the NPA will be repaid with the
      same “atrocity” that they have allegedly committed.
    • AFP
      spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said that they are studying the
      possibility of recommending the imposition of martial law in Negros Oriental.
    • PNP chief
      Police General Oscar Albayalde ordered the relief of Negros Oriental Provincial
      Police Director Colonel Raul Tacaca.
    • Philippine
      Army 302nd Brigade Commander Ignacio Madriaga announced the formation of the
      Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
  • August 1
    1. Malacañang said Duterte might declare martial law or invoke emergency powers in Negros Oriental.
    1. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he so far has made no recommendation to impose martial law in the province.
    1. The Commission on Human Rights said the spate of killings in Negros Oriental should not lead to the declaration of martial law.
    1. Negros Oriental Reps. Jocelyn Limkaichong and Manuel Sagarbarria led the filing of a House Resolution calling for an investigation into the series of killings in Negros. It was supported by 26 other legislators in the Lower House.
  • August 2
    1. Mayors of Guihulngan, Ayungon, and Canlaon said they would support the declaration of martial law while the Philippine Army’s Third Infantry (Spearhead) Division, which oversees military operations in Negros Island, expressed support for the possible declaration.
  • August 5
    1. Bishop Alminaza calls for the resumption of peace talks between the GRP and NDFP.
    1. Gen. Albayalde claims the situation in Negros is under control and that they have not recommended the imposition of Martial Law.

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