Negros bishop deplores ‘systematic, uncontrolled’ killings

Negros bishop deplores ‘systematic, uncontrolled’ killings

Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan and her husband Edwin were on their way home on Tuesday when they were killed by still unidentified gunmen. COURTESY OF KARAPATAN

By CBCP News

December 17, 2020

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic bishop has condemned what he called “unstoppable murders” in his diocese following the killing of a “doctor to the barrio” and her husband this week.

Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan and her husband Edwin were on their way home in the city of Guihulngan Tuesday when they were targeted by unknown gunmen.

The doctor was earlier red-tagged by a vigilante group in Negros, a central Philippine island that has been a place of targeted killings of activists and land rights advocates.

Until her death, Sancelan was the head of a task force in the city’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos said the couple is just one of the rising victims of “systematic and uncontrolled killings” in the country.

“It was brutal, marked by a desire to end the pro-people service of Dr. Sacelan to her constituents,” Alminaza said.

The doctor’s commitment to true public service, according to him, deserved a worthy recognition.

“Sadly, the same government that was expected to recognize her dedication to government service, failed to protect her,” he said.

The bishop expressed hope that an investigation will lead to the arrest of perpetrators of the crime.

“We therefore express our hope and prayer for a swift and determined investigation of her death and that of Edwin’s,” he added.

Reiterating his call for an end to killings in Negros, Alminaza stressed that “Filipino families do not deserve this senseless gift of violence”.

“What we need today is the vaccine of peace!” he said. “Killings cannot bring about peace! Neither can it result in good governance.”


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