Environmental group leader killed in Negros Occidental ambush

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – The leader of an environmental group here was killed in an ambush by unidentified armed men late Sunday afternoon, November 8, in Hacienda Santa Ana, Barangay San Isidro, Enrique B. Magalona town.

Police identified the fatality as Nelbert Esguiran, 39, president of United Canlusong Upland Reforestation and Development. His companion, 58-year-old Morly Isidro, sustained a gunshot wound on his right arm. 

The group is under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. It advocates reforestation in the locality and neighboring areas.

Senior Inspector Mark Anthony Karanaig, acting town police chief, said that the victims and their 6 companions were on board a vehicle, on their way home to Barangay Canlusong, when they were waylaid by still unidentified suspects at around 5 pm.

Karanaig said that the 7 armed men, who were wearing black sweatshirts and bonnets, targeted Esguiran. 

Esguiran, who was already wounded, tried to escape but was chased down by the assailants until he was killed.

The victim sustained 10 gunshot wounds on different parts of his body and died on the spot, Karanaig said. 

The suspects remain at large.

Recovered from the crime scene were 3 slugs and an empty shell of .45 caliber, an empty shell, and a deformed slug of an unknown firearm.

Karanaig said that they have yet to establish the motive of the incident, although the intention of the suspects was to kill the environmental group leader. Rappler.com