DAVAO CITY—A member of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) shot dead a couple at noon Saturday in Sitio Patel, Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte in what police described as a “heated argument turned deadly.”

Chief Inspector Carl Omar Fiel, chief of Kapalong police station, identified the suspect as Pangong Masaluon, a Cafgu member attached to the Army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion.

Fiel said that Masaluon killed the victims, Reynaldo Martir and his wife, Teresita, using a M14 rifle because of intense verbal tussle.

“The suspect is presently detained at the Kapalong-PNP. Our the investigation is on-going. We are mulling to charge him of murder if evidence warrants the filing of charge,” Fiel said.

Initial report says that on April 4, around 12 o’clock in the afternoon, the Martir couple were lining up in the corn mill to have their products milled when Masaluon confronted them and had a heated argument which triggered Masaluon to shot the couple.

“It was because somebody wanted to insert oneself in the queue. It would not have been a problem if everybody follows the first-come, first-served policy,” Mary Jane Revita, eldest daughter of the Martir couple told Davao Today in a phone interview.

Revita, claimed, however, that Pangong Masaluon, was a member of Alamara—a paramilitary group known to patrol the hinterlands using their machetes and high powered firearms from the military.

“He was a member of Alamara. Eventhough the authorities won’t recognize it but we know the truth. They could not hide the truth from us,” said Revita.

According to Revita, her parents were simple civilians who live “normally” like everybody else. “They are active in our church and GKK. We are puzzled about Masaluon’s motive to kill my parents.”

The Martir couple is a residence of Sitio Patel, a known base of Alamara reportedly ruled by the Masaluons.

Hanimay Suazo, secretary general of Karapatan-SMR, condemned the killing of the Martir couple and said that “recruiting, financing and arming Lumads are violative to the provisions of the IPRA (Indigenous Peoples Rights Act) law. The existence of Alamara only bolsters the human rights violations committed by the soldiers.”

“It’s a vehement bastardization of the law,” Suazo said. (davaotoday.com)

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