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Duterte visit to wake of slain Negros farmers canceled

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte’s scheduled visit on Tuesday to the wake of sugar farmers killed last Saturday in Sagay City, Negros Occidental was canceled due to bad weather.

A Palace advisory said the visit was canceled due to heavy rains in parts of Negros Occidental.

The victims, all members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers, were shot dead by armed men Saturday night after they reportedly tried to occupy private land in Hacienda Nene, Barangay Bulanon.

They were eating dinner inside tents when they were shot by 5 to 6 gunmen, said Sagay police chief, Chief Insp. Roberto Mansueto.

Malacañang has condemned the killing of the sugar workers and called for “a thorough and impartial investigation on this dastardly act.”

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo and the Philippine National Police, meanwhile, said the communist New People’s Army could be behind the massacre.

Earlier in the day, the President visited the wake in Naga City of three policemen who were killed in an ambush by communist rebels in Lupi, Camarines Sur last Oct. 18 and two soldiers killed in separate encounters with rebels in Labo, Camarines Norte last Oct. 14. – Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News