BISHOP of Bacolod Patricio Buzon told policemen in Negros Island Region (NIR) to accompany their duties with prayers as they work to keep everyone safe.

Buzon gave the reminder to top officials of Police Regional Office (PRO) -18 during the fiesta mass celebrated in honor of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City on Sunday.

Chief Superintendent Renato Gumban, acting director of PRO-18; Senior Superintendent William Señoron, acting director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo) and; Senior Superintendent Flynn Dongbo, acting director of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), were among the police officials who received rosaries with captions “The finger from the trigger to prayer.” Also present during the fiesta mass were city officials led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

The rosaries were given to the policemen to remind them to maintain their respect for human rights through prayers while they continue to uphold the law.

The Catholic church leaders in NIR had earlier expressed alarm over increasing number of extra judicial killings in the country as police intensified their campaign against illegal drugs nationwide.

Last week, Buzon, Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos, Bishop Julito Cortes of Dumaguete, and Diocesan Administrator Rolando Nueva of Kabankalan, in a joint pastoral statement, expressed their grief and dismay in the increasing number of extrajudicial killings in the wake of the national government-led campaign against illegal drugs.

The four church leaders condemned the drug related killings as they pointed out that there was “inadequate action” on the part of the government to investigate the extrajudicial killings and bring their perpetrators to justice.

With the non-existing of extrajudicial killings related to illegal drugs in Negros Occidental, Buzon said he is happy about it, adding that it only means that policemen are very conscientious in keeping the law while they are doing their duties.