Manhunt on for suspects in Luisita farmer slaying

A manhunt was launched for three unidentified gunmen who killed a 35-year old farmer and wounding three orhers in an early morning attack at Barangay San Nicolas Balas, Concepcion, Tarlac on Saturday.

Senior Supt. Richie Posadas, Director of the Tarlac Provincial Police Office (TPPO), identified the victim as Teody Baquing, 35, who died upon arrival in nearby hospital due to loss of blood.

Wounded were Marcelo Marcelo, 63; Jaime Marimla Baquing,60; and Rustico Sevilla 76, who suffered gunshot wounds when their location was strafed by three unidentified gunmen.

Barangay San Nicolas Balas is part of Hacienda Luisita property, owned by the family of former president Benigno C. Aquino III.

The victims were having coffee in front of the Baquing residence when a white Grandia Van (sporting license plate ADJ-2035) parked near them and, moments later, its occupants alighted armed with automatic rifles.

The suspects, according sketchy police report, pretended to be quarry operators who expressed their interest to open quarry operations in the area.

Citing information from survivors, police said the suspects, who were sporting short pants with PNP markings, immediately fired at the victims, fatally hitting the younger Baquing.

The suspects quickly boarded the vehicle and fled heading toward Concepcion-Capas, Tarlac Road.

The victims were rushed by their neighbors to Concepcion District Hospital and later transferred to Tarlac City for further medication.

Posadas said the investigation is in full swing to identify the suspects and the owner of the vehicle used in their escape.

Police recovered several spent shells of different caliber at the crime scene. –Jess Malabanan

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