By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo threw her support for a Senate inquiry into the spate of killings in Negros province to bring to justice the “powerful personalities” behind the incident.
“Kailangang siguruhin na iyong paghanap ng katarungan para sa mga magsasaka maibigay, lalong lalo na kasi iyong mga circumstances talaga nagpapakita na maraming mga makapangyarihan na tao iyong maaaring involved,” she said.
(We need to ensure justice is given to farmers, especially the circumstances really showed many powerful people may be involved.)
Robredo, the leader of the opposition, made the remarks in support of Senator Leila de Lima’s call to investigate the killings in Negros. De Lima is Robredo’s partymate in the opposition Liberal Party.
De Lima, a vocal critic of President Duterte, filed Senate Resolution No. 1034, urging the appropriate Senate committee to investigate the escalating trend and spate of killings in Negros.
The lady senator cited the recent killing of former Association of Barangay Captains president Mark Garcia and his brother Michael, a village councilor, on April 25.
De Lima also mentioned the 14 farmers who were shot dead on March 30 during a joint police and military operations in Negros.
The Vice President said it was not a “good message” to the families of the farmers and other farmers if they are “not protected by the law.”
“Kasi lalong tumatagal iyong pag-file ng mga kaso, kasi kung titingnan natin iyong mga balita, mayroong mga tao na itinuturo na na maaaring salarin doon sa mga nangyari. Sana masundan na ito ng paghain ng kaso,” she said.
(The filing of the cases is taking so long, because if we check the news, there are people who are possible perpetrators behind the incident. I hope charges will be filed next.)
Robredo said she hoped her “Ahon Laylayan” coalition can be a “vehicle to put pressure on the authorities” to take action on the matter.
The Office of the Vice President has launched Ahon Laylayan in various provinces to give multi-sectoral groups a platform to come together and demand accountability and transparency from government officials.
READ MORE: De Lima assails killing of 14 Negros farmers