– The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Negros Occidental is conducting a separate investigation on the brutal killing of the four members of the Fausto family in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City on June 14.
Vincent Parra, officer-in-charge of the CHR here, said on Tuesday they started the motu proprio investigation on June 16 and they continue to receive information about the incident.
“We have a pending request with the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Himamaylan for documents, including initial investigation report, spot report, and crime scene pictures,” he told reporters.
On June 18, four days after they were gunned down at their house in the remote Sitio Kangkiling, Rolly and Emilda Fausto and their two minor sons were laid to rest at Barangay Aguisan Public Cemetery with the assistance of the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Monday suspects have already been identified by the police and he is awaiting the final report of the PNP.
Parra said they had planned to first visit the scene of the incident in Sitio Kangkiling, but they were advised not to proceed since four-wheel vehicles cannot access the area.
“We will meet with their daughter, who reported the incident (to the police), in Barangay Buenavista this coming Thursday,” he added.
The CHR investigator said there is information that the Fausto family had been “red-tagged”, which is considered a human rights issue.
“We will dig deeper on the red-tagging issue,” he added.
Parra said they will also go to Barangay Carol-an in the neighboring Kabankalan City, the place where Emilda Fausto was originally from and where their family had lived before moving to Himamaylan City.
“We will conduct a background check on the family to determine what prompted them to move to Himamaylan City. They had been staying in Himamaylan for less than a year, according to police information,” he said.
In an earlier statement, the CHR central office said through its office in Western Visayas, it has “dispatched investigators to pursue the truth behind the killings and seek justice for the victims.”
“The CHR strongly condemns the brutal killing,” it said, noting there are allegations that the incident was insurgency-related and allegedly linked to the New People’s Army, but there is also an allegation linking it to the military.
In an earlier statement, the Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade also committed to seek justice for the deaths and dismissed the claims of the NPA linking government troops to the massacre. (PNA)