Senate inquiry into Negros killings sought
MANILA, Philippines — The recent series of killings of farmers and human rights activists in Negros province has reached an alarming level that warranted a Senate investigation, detained opposition Sen. Leila de Lima said on Sunday.
“The killings in Negros, as with different places in the Philippines, have become rampant in the country because of the reigning culture of impunity and violence encouraged by the madman in Malacañang,” De Lima said, referring to President Duterte.
“There is an urgent need to investigate this escalating trend and spate of killings victimizing our farmers, making it imperative for the government and law authorities and institutions to develop mechanisms, which can hold these perpetrators accountable,” she said in her latest dispatch.
De Lima issued the statement after four persons, including village captain Mark Garcia and village councilor Michael Garcia, were shot dead by unknown gunmen last week.
Unidentified assailants also gunned down another village leader, Samuel Ragay, and human rights worker Bernardino Patigas in separate incidents.
The killings happened barely a month after 14 farmers were killed in a series of anti-insurgency operations conducted by the police and the military in Negros Oriental.
According to the senator, at least 50 people had been murdered in Negros since the President was sworn into power in July 2016.
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