Two members of the Dumagat tribe were set on fire after they allegedly started fights at Maconacon town in Isabela province yesterday.
According to the police, the men were under the influence of alcohol when they allegedly picked fights in Malasin village, a Dumagat community. The men were identified as Fernando Sesuca from Dicatian village and Acorda Cortez from Dicaroyan village. Both men worked as laborers.
The Dumagat is an indigenous group that used to live in the coastal communities of Quezon province. Homesteaders pushed them to disperse to other places, leading them to become isolated. Many members are illiterate because they don’t have access to education.
Maconacon Police told Bombo Radyo Cauayan that the two men were causing a ruckus among their fellow Dumagat when residents of the area sought the help of a Dumagat elder named Renato Castillejo. When the men wouldn’t listen to the elder, Castillejo doused them in gasoline to set them ablaze.
Rightfully alarmed, the villagers called firefighters and the police for help.
The victims were brought to the Rural Health Unit. They suffered first-degree burns.
Castillejo surrendered to the police. He will face charges of attempted homicide.