Kidapawan dispersal victims killed by gunshots, says forensic expert

Sulang family grieves untimely death of 22-year-old farmer Darwin. (Photo by Kilab Multimedia)
Sulang family grieves untimely death of 22-year-old farmer Darwin. (Photo by Kilab Multimedia)


MANILA – The two men killed in the bloody Kidapawan dispersal both died from a single, fatal gunshot.

Ephraim Cortez, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) assistant secretary general for legal services, said in a press conference today, April 15, that forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun conducted autopsy and external examination on the remains of farmer Darwin Sulang and bystander Enrico Fabilgar, respectively, on April 9.

Quoting Fortun’s findings, Cortez said Sulang sustained a “single perforating gunshot wound almost in the middle of the forehead, which exited at the top back of the head.”

Fabilgar, on the other hand, sustained a “single penetrating gunshot wound of the trunk,” based on Fortun’s external examination of the remains.

Earlier, the Philippine National Police claimed Sulang’s remains were positive for paraffin test, which Fortun had earlier countered in her Twitter account as obsolete.

Sulang and Fabilgar died during the bloody dispersal of farmers in Kidapawan City last April 1. Drought-hit farmers were demanding the release of at least P15,000 sacks of rice.

Sulang’s death certificate states that he died of “cardiorespiratory arrest secondary to head injury due to mauling.”

Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said the Sulang family has reported harassment to prevent them from filing charges, and has sought refuge at the United Methodist Church. She said local government officials offered to give the Sulang family P100,000 ($2,167) in exchange for not filing charges.

Soldiers were also seen roving around their house after Sulang was laid to rest. On April 13, the entire Sulang family finally sought refuge when they heard that soldiers would “disappear” Ebao, Sulang’s father. (

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