A Catholic bishop has appealed for an end to killings in Negros Oriental province following another murder of a human rights advocate, CBCP News reported April 26, 2019.
Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos said these “barbaric and calculated assassinations must end”.
“We should not tolerate this kind of crime,” Alminaza said.
Bernardino Patigas Sr., a reelectionist councilor of Escalante City who worked with human rights groups, was shot dead on April 22.
His killing came three weeks after masked policemen killed 14 farmers in the same province.
Aside from his human rights work, Patigas was a president of the Parish Pastoral Council and a mission partner of the Carmelites in Escalante City.
“He tirelessly worked for the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) program of the parish,” Alminaza said.
According to him, Patigas “selflessly” gave his life serving the oppressed and exploited sugarcane workers of the Negros island.
“With his untiring commitment to the cause of the poor, he received numerous death threats and harassment,” said Alminaza.
The bishop called on the government to investigate seriously the killing of Patigas and other cases of violence in the province.
“It is my ardent prayer that instead of perpetrating violence, they may open their eyes to the reality of truth -that life is precious, that it is a sin to kill,” he said.