Bishop, officials slam councilor slay

BACOLOD. Some members of militant groups in Negros Occidental raise their hands with red paint as they call for the stoppage of killings during the press briefing held at the Negros Press Club in Bacolod City Thursday. (Contributed Photo)

THE Diocese of San Carlos in Negros Occidental slammed the killing of Escalante Councilor Bernardino Patigas Sr., as they call for justice for his death.

San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, in a press statement, claimed Patigas died violently from the assassin’s bullets, calling the incident “barbaric.”

Alminaza, said Patigas, whom they have nicknamed as “Tay Toto” was a devoted church worker and was a mission partner of the Carmelites in Escalante City.

He also formerly served as president of the Parish Pastoral Council President of the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Old Escalante.

Alminaza added Patigas’ faith moved him to serve his poor brothers and sisters and was admired by locals because of his humility and simplicity.

He (Patigas) joined the death list of the lurking evil in our midst, the bishop said.

Patigas, also a human rights advocate, was killed by an unidentified motorcycle-riding assailant on his way home at Barangay Alimango, Escalante City on April 22.

Police are looking into personal grudges, election-related, and illegal gambling as possible motives behind the killing.

“In sadness, we all are crying out. These barbaric and calculated assassinations must end. We should not tolerate this kind of crime,” Alminaza said.

Death threats

Meanwhile, Michael de la Concepcion, secretary-general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) - Negros, in a press conference held at the Negros Press Club yesterday, said they received death threats, four hours after the killing of Patigas.

Nine progressive group leaders, including himself, received the threats from an unidentified sender telling them that they will be finished off this year.

“This is a serious threat. This is an act of cowardice,” De la Concepcion said.

But despite such threat, he said that it will not hinder them from helping the masses.

He said they will also look for proper authorities to trace the anonymous sender.

The Makabayan bloc has earlier filed a resolution asking the House of Representatives to investigate the said killing.

Patigas was the party-list’s city coordinator in Escalante City.

Local officials

The Provincial Board during their regular session Wednesday, passed a resolution condemning the killing of Patigas.

Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said that the family Patigas is surely asking for justice for the killing the councilor.

“You know when something happens to any member of your family what you are asking to seek for justice,” he said.

Lacson said that he is hoping that the police would arrest the assailants of Patigas so that proper charges would be filed in court.

On the part of Governor Alfredo Maranon, he said that killings has been happening all over. The best defense to all these he said is prayer.

In fact he said, killing in mass has been happening in other countries like in Sri Lanka where hundreds were killed in simultaneous bombings.


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