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Relatives of slain Teduray farmer in Datu Hoffer yearn for justice

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES NEWS • 16:30 PM Sun Apr 11, 2021
1
By: 
John M. Unson
Most ethnic Tedurays dwell in hinterlands in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces. (Courtesy of Frederic Lorenzo) 

MAGUINDANAO --- Relatives of an ethnic Teduray farmer killed by gunmen Friday night in Datu Hoffer town urged Sunday their tribal leaders and the police to cooperate in putting closure to the gruesome incident.

The 46-year-old John Daya Benito died on the spot from multiple gunshot wounds.

Benito’s wife, Gloria, 33, said one of the gunmen who arrived in their farm at about 7:00 p.m. Friday casually approached her husband and opened fire with an assault rifle.

Benito, father of six grade school children, died on the spot from multiple bullet wounds.

His relatives told reporters Sunday they are certain that the culprits belong to the same group implicated in the killings early on of Teduray farmers in Datu Hoffer and in the uplands in Maguindanao’s nearby Datu Unsay, Shariff Aguak and Ampatuan towns. They did not elaborate, however.

More than 20 ethnic Teduray farmers have been killed in one attack after another in hinterland tribal enclaves in the four towns and in South Upi, also in the second district of Maguindanao, in the past three years.

Brig. Gen. Eden Ugale, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, said Sunday he has directed the Maguindanao provincial police to enlist the help of local officials in identifying the killers of Benito for prosecution. 

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