It’s alarming to know that human rights cases in Negros Occidental including Bacolod City have continued to rise in the last five years.

In data released by Commission on Human Rights (CHR)-Negros Occidental officer-in-charge Vincent Parra on Tuesday, January 31, 81 cases of human rights violations were reported in the province in 2022.

Of the figure, 64 were considered extrajudicial killings, with 30 of these cases being found to be drug-related. Others were land and armed conflicts.

But since 2017, the cases have gone up. CHR record showed that 40 human rights cases were reported in 2017, 38 in 2018, 56 in 2019, 55 in 2020, 75 in 2021, and 81 in 2022.

It’s interesting to note that extrajudicial killings in 2022 jumped from 46 in the previous year to 64.

This year, CHR is already investigating seven human rights violation cases in the province and the city.

Parra said that it has been a challenge of getting the cooperation of policemen in their investigation, citing that the blotter reports were not shared with them.

He stressed that they're pursuing the cases through motu propio (on their initiative), as no complainants have come out to their office for assistance.

We call on authorities to address this, and we hope CHR can go beyond its mandate of investigating and monitoring human rights cases. After all, this is still our right.*