1 killed, 7 injured in Lumad wedding celebration

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/01 August) – A pregnant woman was killed while seven others were injured in a shooting incident during a Lumad wedding celebration in San Fernando, Bukidnon at around 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 30, the Bukidnon Police Provincial Office (PPO) said.

In its press release issued on August 1, the PPO said that initial investigation by the team dispatched to Sitio Tibugawan, Barangay Kawayan in San Fernando town showed that “victims were celebrating a Lumad wedding” at the village plaza “when suddenly a burst of gunfire from unknown caliber caught them by surprise.”

Killed was Makeneth Salubo Gayuran, whose age was placed at 22 but birthdate as indicated was October 13, 1999.

Gayuran, a resident of the sitio, “sustained one gunshot wound on the left posterior aspect of her body which resulted to her instantaneous death.”

Police identified the seven injured as Purassiduna and Gegebanonan, both residents of the same sitio; and Kambobangonan, 18; Mary Ann Tagabilog, of legal age; Mairene Dumala, 14; Mike Opao, all of Sitio Sil-angon; and Arotobalagbag of Sitio Sil-anan.

The PPO said the wounded sustained gunshot wounds in different parts of their bodies and were rushed to Bukidnon Provincial Hospital- San Fernando for medical treatment but were subsequently referred to Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center in Malaybalay City “for intensive care.”

It added that based on investigation and corroborating the accounts of IP mandatory representative Arnold Manhura of Barangay Kawayan, and some eyewitnesses, “the suspects responsible for the said shooting were the group of Aldie Salusad aka Butsoy” and the motive of the shooting was “believed to be magahat/pangayaw (revenge).”

Salusad is reportedly a member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) but in a telephone interview, Police Inspector Rham Camelotes, acting police chief of San Fernando town, said Salusad is a rebel returnee, a former member of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“Hindi confirmed na Cafgu” (It’s not confirmed if he is a Cafgu member), Camelotes said. But he said Salusad, who is based “sa gubat” (in the forest), has a pending warrant of arrest.

Salusad is wanted for the murder of Datu Jimmy Liguyon of San Fernando, Bukidnon on March 5, 2012.

At that time, he was identified as the leader of the New Indigenous Peoples Army Reform (NIPAR) while his father, Benjamin, was head of the Special Civilian Armed Auxilary (SCAA) of the 8th IB, Philippine Army. The elder Salusad, also a former NPA member, surrendered to the miltiary with 79 others in November 2011. (MindaNews)