By Jillian Lopez

Sen. Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution for the Senate to investigate the spate of killings in Negros Oriental that left 34 victims killed since the start of the year. 

Senate Resolution 43 urges the Senate committees on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs to conduct an investigation in efforts to “[attain] justice for the slain victims and [create] policies that will adequately address the root cause of the conflict in the province.”

Since July 23, 17 individuals have been found dead in different areas in Negros Oriental, Hontiveros noted. Out of 83 victims, 34 have been killed during separate shooting incidents since January.

“The killings in the Negros region is an easy and chilling example of the violence against civilians that has flourished under the culture of impunity and lawlessness in the country,” she said.

She further noted that the killings commonly occurred either within “spitting distance” of police precincts or in the victims’ homes. Among those killed were civilians, farmers and union leaders tagged as members of the New People’s Army.

Three armed men were captured in Badian town in southern Cebu on Wednesday, July 31. They were said to have been “passive observers” during the killings of four police officers in Negros.