Two farmers abducted by soldiers found dead in Negros Oriental, Philippines

Account of the incident:

Julito Quirante left home on January 31, 2009 to loan corn from his cousin Francisco Namoco in Sitio Buwang, Brgy. Milagrosa, Sta.Catalina, Negros Oriental.

Ronel Raguing went to his farm to harvest pumpkins and some vegetables on February 1, 2009.  He had intended to sell these in Sitio Lag-asan, Brgy. Nagbin-lod, Sta. Catalina.

It was the last time that each of their families would see Julito and Ronel alive.

Witnesses said were seized by an undetermined number of soldiers in Sitio Kalabasaan, Brgy. Nagbinlod, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental and brought to a wooded area. They were not seen with the soldiers when the latter came out.
Initial efforts of the families to locate their kin were steadfast but fruitless. The families then asked assistance from police on February 20, 2009 but allegedly no actions were taken.

The families finally approached KARAPATAN, which launched a fact finding mission on February 27, 2009 at Sitio Kalabasaan, Brgy. Nagbinlod, Sta. Catalina.  In the following days, the mission was able to speak to witnesses who had come forward.  They pointed to the site where the victims were brought by the soldiers. An inspection of the area generated a suspicion of a possible gravesite. The NBI in Region 7 (NBI-7) assisted the fact-finding team and on March 9, 2009, a team of NBI-7 led the exhumation at about 2PM in Sitio. Junob (an hour’s walk from Sitio Kalabasaan). At about 4PM, two male bodies in an advanced stage of decomposition were found, their hands tied behind their backs.

The families of Ronel and Julito identified them through their apparel and the sack that belonged to Julito.

At about 6PM of March 9, 2009, the bodies were brought to Clarin Funeral Parlor in Poblacion, Sta. Catalina for an autopsy. The autopsy report has not been released as of this writing. ###