Four persons dead in ‘revenge killings’

POLICE view the bodies of James Labiga and Ernesto Royo who died in a case of vendetta killings in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental morning of Oct 11, 2017. (Photo by Jean Paul Generoso/Radyo Bandera)

BACOLOD City – In a span of 10 hours, four persons, including a minor, died in what is believed to be a case of vendetta killing between two warring families in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental.

The fatalities were identified as Kerwin Royo, 22; James Labiga, 27; Ernesto Royo, and Michael Mirano, 5.

A report from the office of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) said previous conflicts may have triggered the killings.

The first incident happened 7:30 p.m. Tuesday while Kerwin Royo and Espirijon Royo were drinking liquor inside the house of a certain Esteban Empanto.

Moments later, James Labiga and his nephew Debrick Labiga, who were also believed to be drunk, passed by Empanto’s house and destroyed the bamboo fence.

James Labiga then entered the house and allegedly stabbed Kerwin Royo’s right armpit.

Labiga also stabbed Espirijon Royo in the right arm before fleeing.

The Royos were brought to Isabela District Hospital where Kerwin was pronounced dead on arrival.

Espirijon Royo was transferred to a hospital in here.

At around 5:40 a.m. of Oct 11, or 10 hours after Kerwin Royo’s death, his brother Fritz Royo and uncle Ernesto Royo plotted revenge.

The Royos reportedly spotted James Labiga at the house of a certain Michael Mirano.

Ernesto, who was armed with a gun, and Fritz, who brandished a knife, attacked Labiga, but the latter reportedly was able to fight back.

Ernesto suffered multiple stab wounds while Labiga suffered gunshots aside from stab wounds on different parts of his body.

Both were declared dead on arrival at Isabela District Hospital.

John Michael Mirano, son of Michael Mirano, died after he was hit by a stray bullet to the head.

Radio reports indicated that James Labiga allegedly used John Michael as human shield when the Royos attacked him.

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