Sinas: NegOr operation legit, killings ‘not a massacre’

By: Gerard Francisco April 01,2019 - 10:19 PM

Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas. | CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — “It was not a massacre.”

That is what Brigadier General Debold Sinas, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO – 7) director, said during a press conference on Monday, April 1, addressing massacre claims about the deaths of 14 farmers during a Synchronized Enhanced Managing of Police Operations (SEMPO) in Negros Oriental last Saturday, March 30,

Sinas said that the killings could not be called a “massacre” because it happened in multiple areas around Negros Oriental, and several search and arrest warrants were already filed in the three areas where the murders occurred. 

Read more: Police: Nothing illegal in ops that killed 14 in Negros Oriental

“This was the serving of a warrant at different times, different places. Ang massacre girat-rat na tanan. If you define “massacre” then you will see,” said Sinas. 

(This was the serving of a warrant at different times, different places and that was what they were talking about. If you will look up the meaning of ‘massacre’ then you will see.)

Read more: CHR starts probe into killing of 14 farmers in Negros Oriental

Sinas also said that the PRO – 7 had been open to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) conducting an investigation on the operation (also called Oplan Sauron) that occurred in the area.

“We’re expecting it, and we’re open to it,” Sinas said. 

However, he also said that the operation was legitimate and was covered with a search warrant. 

Read more: Don’t turn Negros into a ‘killing field,’ bishop urges gov’t

He said that the 14 farmers, who were killed during the operation, were allegedly members of the New People’s Army (NPA), who allegedly resisted arrest.

The Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante – University of the Philippines Cebu (NKE – UP Cebu) conducted an indignation protest in front of the UP entrance gate, condemning the death of the 14 farmers. 

Aura Mae Agbay, one of their members of NKE-UP Cebu condemned Sinas’ statement. 

According to Agbay, Sinas’ statement showed that the police chief is more concerned about silencing the farmers rather than serving the public. 

“It’s a shame that Sinas is still using the this rotten technique, this technique of changing the issue of PNP murdering farmers to mere technical issues,” said Agbay./dbs

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