Three villagers of Besao butchered
It was savage. It was animal. It was the work of the devil. Words will never be enough to describe how they were killed.
Between the boundary of Besao, Mtn. Province and Tubo, Abra is a forested area known as “Pagpag” (literally, “forest”) which serves as the hunting ground for wild boar and deer for people from Besao, Tubo, Abra and even Sagada. A river runs through this forested area where fresh water eel abound. It is in this river where the majestic Tagpeo Falls and the mystic Daoyasan Falls are located.
About May 27, 2019, an information was relayed to the Besao MDRRMO by the Sagada MDRRMO that three seemingly lifeless bodies were seen in Pagpag. Apparently, this information may have originated from Tubo, Abra MDRRMO. Also, on the same date, the Tubo Municipal Police Office apparently sent a message to their counter-part in Besao that three men from Agawa died, two of them from gunshots and the other from bolo hacks. The Besao MDRRMO convened where it was confirmed that on or about May 24, 2019, three men from the village of Agawa, Besao, Mtn. Province went to the Pagpag to fish for fresh water eel. Fishing for eel and hunting in this area has been the practice of the people of Agawa since time immemorial. The men were identified as Jansen “Ayban” Gabaen, Ronnie Macayba and Pedro Sauyen. They were later found butchered.
On May 28 and 29, 2019, people from the different barangays of Besao and personnel of the Besao LGU and Besao Municipal Police Station (MPS) went to the Pagpag to retrieve the bodies. While they were in the forest, they had to look for the bodies as the information was that there were three men from Agawa who died but the location of their bodies were not pinpointed. Finally, the “rescuers” found the bodies. Jansen Gabaen was found totally naked, submerged in water. About a kilometer away, the bodies of Pedro Sauyen and Ronnie Macayba were found. Like Jansen Gabaen, Pedro Sauyen was totally naked. The body of Ronnie Macayba was found nearby and he was the only one with his clothes on. It was observed by the rescuers that all three had gunshot wounds and their throats slashed. Worst, the genitalia area of one of them was removed apparently with the use of a sharp blade. They also suffered from hack wounds. Pictures which were shown to this writer show that indeed, the three men were not just killed, they were hacked and their throats slashed. Words would not be enough to give justice on how they died.
One of the rescuers said that they were not killed; they were “killed many times”. They were butchered like wild animals and left in the wild to rot. One of the rescuers asked: If the Tubo MPS were informed of such, why did they not immediately conduct an investigation? Where were the Tubo MPS and Tubo MDRRMO as it was the Besao people who had to locate and retrieve the bodies? The families, villagemates and townmates of the deceased are not only demanding for justice, they are crying for justice. The Besao people will be holding an indignation rally to voice out this collective cry for justice.
The main suspicion of Besao elders is that the murders were done to scare the town’s hunters to stay away from the Pagpag. Confirmation of this would be a big step towards solving the mystery of the murders. While hunters from Sagada also venture into the area, they are considered unlikely suspects as they, like the people of Besaoo, are now not savage enough to commit such beastly murders. The iBesaos are now entertaining various theories on the murders as they await the answers of the Tubo police to the questions raised above.** B. Baldas