Hontiveros is seeking a Senate probe on Negros murders

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Senator Risa Hontiveros has tabled a resolution urging the Senate committees on public order and hazardous drugs and justice to explore the spate of murders in the Negros region.

In Senate Resolution 47, Hontiveros articulated the hope that the inquiry would help achieve justice for the killed victims and create strategies that properly address the root cause of the dispute in the province.

She stated that the killing spree that devastated Negros Oriental seemed unstoppable as it claimed more life, sparing no one, including 1-year-old Marjon Ocampo, who died with his dad last July 25 when their family was assaulted by unknown suspects.

Among the victims were lawyer Anthony Trinidad, who was shot numerous times by unknown males and his wife Nova Marie and a bystander who was wounded on July 23. On July 18, 40 armed men attack four police officers who were in the process of meeting with an intelligence source.

The murders in the Negros region are an simple and chilling illustration of the violence against civilians that has flourished in the nation under the culture of impunity and lawless violence.

This is what has made the Philippines the world’s fourth most hazardous nation for civilians.

Hontiveros said that the killing spree that impacted the area, and Negros Oriental in specific is a microcosm of the country’s culture of lawless violence that has deteriorated in latest years.

She added that the tandem riding deaths are not new, but their growing courage and brazenness is.

Hontiveros said 83 individuals have been victims of extrajudicial murders since January 20, 2017, including 20 murdered under Oplan Sauron, a lawful police operation.

She said of the 83 victims, 34 were killed in 2019 and 16 of them were killed just last week. She said majority of the victims were civilians, farmers, and union leaders tagged as members of the New People’s Army.

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