4 gold panners murdered in Caramoan

CARAMOAN, CSur—A hot pursuit operation is now underway to catch the suspects in the murder of four persons who were allegedly engaged in small-time gold panning operation in Barangay Gata in the island of Lahuy, here.
Lahuy Island, Caramoan
Lahuy Island, Caramoan
In an interview with Police Senior Inspector Chester P. Pomar this morning, he confirmed that the members of the PNP have been dispatched to conduct their investigation about the incident.

Reports gathered by BICOL STANDARD indicate the following are the victims of the criminal incident last night: July Labiano, Redan Brondia, Salim Virtus and Renan Labiano, all residents of Gata.

Allegedly, the members of Task Force Kalikasan of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur have been present in this barangay for a few months already, and had been issuing warnings to gold panners who are operating illegally.

One of the leaders of said task force is allegedly defeated Sagnay mayoralty candidate, Francisco “Iko” Tria.

Tria has been identified as the official who is frequently seen in the barangay where he is in-charge of enforcing the gold panning prohibition.

A few weeks earlier, there were reports that Gata Punong Barangay Mercy Sueno requested the Provincial Task Force Kalikasan team to give their constituents a little leniency in earning a living by panning gold.

“We are starving here because the sea is still rough and we have no other source of livelihood but to find gold,” a local resident admitted.

When the incident broke out last night, Punong Barangay Sueno is said to have immediately moved to an undisclosed placed, fearing for her personal safety.

Inhabitants here have been dependent on fishing and small-scale gold panning for a number of years now, the report added.

“We are aware that there is an abundant gold deposit in our barangay,” a local resident who requested not to be named said in an interview with BICOL STANDARD.

“This is the reason why Lahuy island is called the Treasure Island in the old maps,” he added.

As this developed, police investigators say that have yet to complete their report.

At presstime, members of Task Force Kalikasan of the Province of Camarines Sur could not be reached to help shed light onto this report.BICOLSTANDARD.COM

UPDATE: Caramoan village chief narrates murder of 4 gold panners

Ex CSur BM Batalla offers free legal assistance to Caramoan slay victims
Rep. Wimpy Fuentebella condemns brutal killing in Gata, Caramoan

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