Robredo backs De Lima’s call for Senate probe on Negros killings
BACOLOD CITY – Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday supported the call of detained Senator Leila de Lima for a Senate inquiry into the killings on Negros Island.
“We need to ensure that justice is given to the victims, especially with powerful people involved,” said Robredo, who was in Bacolod with Otso Diretso senatorial candidates for the launching of the Ahon Laylayan Koalisyon-Negros Occidental at the Negros Occidental Multi-purpose Center in Bacolod City.
She said the fear that more killing would happen would linger unless the victims would be given justice.
De Lima, a vocal critic of President Duterte, filed Senate Resolution No. 1034, urging the appropriate Senate committee to investigate the escalating trend and spate of killings in Negros.
In April alone, De Lima said 50 people were killed in Negros since Mr. Duterte assumed the presidency.
The latest was on April 27 when armed men shot at a campaign convoy that killed Councilor Michael Garcia of Moises Padilla town, and former Association of Barangay Captains president Mark Garcia.
On April 22, an unidentified gunman killed human rights advocate, Councilor Bernardino Patigas of Escalante City in Negros Occidental, and on April 12, cting barangay captain Samuel Ragay in San Pedro, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental.
De Lima also mentioned the 14 farmers who were killed in a joint military and police operations in Negros Oriental on March 30.
Robredo said a Senate inquiry is needed to ensure that justice be given to the farmers, especially because the circumstances showed that a lot of powerful people may be involved.
“This is not a good message to the families of the farmers, and for other farmers, that they are not protected by the law,” she said.
Robredo said she discussed with former Negros Occidental Governor Rafael Coscolluela what they could do from their end to put pressure to ensure the investigations continue and would be swift.
“Let’s hope charges are filed against the culprits,” she said.
“Ahon Laylayan can be a vehicle to put pressure on the authorities na aksyunan (to take action),” she said.
The killings can be part of the Ahon Laylayan platform to push the authorities to do their jobs, she said.
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