Don’t turn Negros into a ‘killing field,’ bishop urges gov’t | Inquirer News

Don’t turn Negros into a ‘killing field,’ bishop urges gov’t

By: - Reporter / @FMOrellanaINQ
/ 05:15 PM March 31, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos City asked on Sunday the government to probe the killing of 14 farmers in Negros Oriental during police-military operations in search of loose firearms.

“We demand a quick investigation on this and appeal to our government authorities to restore peace and order,” Alminaza said in a statement. “We don’t want to turn our beautiful island of Negros into a killing field!”

The 14 farmers were killed on Saturday in two towns and one city in Negros Oriental during coordinated operations by the Philippine National Police and the Army against illegal firearms held by suspected communist rebels.


A police officer was also wounded, and 15 other people who were the subjects of search warrants were arrested.


READ: 14 killed in PNP, Army operations vs loose firearms in Negros Oriental

One of the fatalities, according to Alminaza, was a lay minister at the Canlaon Parish and that others were not even shown the arrest warrant.

Alminaza warned that rights abuses committed by government forces would only make them the “best recruiters” for the underground movement.

“Please make sure you are not adding more reasons for our people to get disillusioned with our government and peacekeepers,” Alminaza said. “But I believe there are still those among you with a lot of common sense, right values and principles, capable of creating avenues for dialogue as a way to lasting peace and not through violence and human rights violation.”

The Commission on Human Rights has started investigating the case. /atm

READ: CHR starts probe into killing of 14 farmers in Negros Oriental

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