MAKABAYAN BLOC CONDEMNS THE KILLING OF 14 FARMERS IN NEGROS ORIENTAL
SUNSTAR PHOTO CREDIT
The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives on Wednesday filed three House Resolutions calling for an investigation on the death of 14 farmers during police operations in Negros Oriental on March 30, 2019.
In a press briefing that followed the filing of the House Resolutions, Makabayan members Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro of the ACT-TEACHERS Party-list, together with Reps. Ariel CAsilao (Party-list, Anakpawis), Arlene Brosas (Party-list, Gabriela), Carlos Isagani Zarate (Party-list, BAYAN MUNA) and Sarah Jane Elago (Party-list, KABATAAN) condemned in the strongest term the killing which they described as a political “tokhang.”
Casilao said Anakpawis expressed outrage over the incident. He said the victims were leaders and members of the different local organizations in the whole province of Negros Oriental.
Casilao said the incident could be the implementation of Memorandum No. 32 which he described as a type of martial law, an open crackdown on legitimate organizations which the police tagged as communist fronts.
He said the victims who were civilians and members of active organizations, local organizations of peasants became the sacrificial lamb of the police counter-insurgency operations.
Casilao stressed Makabayan is calling for an independent probe and does not nor will not accept the investigations conducted by the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service or IAS.
“This will lead to whitewash only. We know the script. Ang ilalabas ng resolution ng IAS na yan ay kung papano linisin at papano i-absolve ang accountability ng kapulisan o ng mga operatives,” Casilao emphasized.
Casilao said they are currently collating testimonies of the survivors and the victims’ families which shall form part in the case buildup against the police.
Tinio also called on the House to take action on the killing of the 14 farmers.
“Panawagan natin kay Speaker Arroyo na kumilos ang Kongresong ito. Now more than ever, kailangan mag hearing ang Committee on Human Rights para dinggin at para makapaglunsad ng kinakailangang imbestigasyon sa malinaw na paglabag sa karapatan ng mga maralita, mga ordinaryong magsasaka sa Negros,” he said.