Nassa joins call to stop killings in Negros

Nassa joins call to stop killings in Negros

Parishioners pray the “Oratio Imperata to end the killings in Negros” at the Immaculate Conception Church in Guihulgan, Negros Oriental July 27. CBCPNEWS

By Roy Lagarde

August 1, 2019

Manila, Philippines

The Catholic Church’s social action arm has added its voice to calls for a stop to the series of killings in Negros Island.

In a statement, the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (Nassa) said huge responsibility lies on the government in ending the bloodshed that is gripping the region.

The death toll from the spate of shooting incidents in Negros Oriental increased over the weekend with the killing of a former mayor and three others.

The killings bring to 21 the number of those killed in the province in little over a week.

Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, Nassa chairman, urged the government “to put pressure to all state agencies to restore justice and peace in Negros Island”.

He said the efforts must be made in other areas experiencing security issues, particularly in caring for the families of the victims.

Addressing the law enforcers, the Caceres prelate said that they must be the first in line in advocating peace and justice.

“To the military and the police, exercise restraint and maximum tolerance, and enforce the laws with total regard to justice and respect for human rights,” he said.

Archbishop Tirona also urged the faithful to do their part by being vigilant and help report leads to the cases of killings.

“Pressure the government officials to expedite the resolution of the cases, and collectively report any unlawful act or lawless elements in your areas so the perpetrators will not have the chance to cause any more unrest to the communities,” he added.

The Defend Negros, Stop the Attacks Network has recorded at least 87 victims of “extrajudicial killings” in the region since January 2017.

Many of the victims are farmers and human rights workers who were allegedly linked to the communist rebels.

Church bells in Negros island have started ringing daily since Sunday at 8pm to call for an end to the killings. CBCPNEWS