BUTUAN CITY—At least 30 suspected members of the New People’s Army shot dead three gold panners in Barobo, Surigao del Sur, the regional police office said.
The Police Regional Office-13 identified the victims as Reginald Ocol Resurreccion, 49, married; Chino Dahuya, 24, single; and Reynaldo Conde, all residents of Barangay Dughan in Barobo. The victims were shot one after the other, police said.
Another panner, Artemio Carrion Dahuya, 49, managed to escape but he was wounded during the massacre, the Surigao del Sur Provincial Police Office said.
The victims were preparing breakfast at around 5:30 a.m. when 30 armed men wearing bonnets fired at them, police said.
The survivor was 100 meters away from the rest of his companions and said he saw gunmen with long firearms shot his three companions.
Dahuya said he hid in the grass but one of the gunmen shot him hitting him in the leg. Dahuya said he fled and went to a barangay Official’s house to seek help.
Barobo municipal police investigators were still investigating the incident.
Barobo is some 100 kilometers away from Butuan City, Caraga Region’s capital, which is known to be gold panning area.
The area has been the source of many conflicts, robbery, hold-up incidents and killings that eventually earned for it the reputation as “killing fields” since massive gold panning activities started.