Vice guv allays fears of peace and order breakdown

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson remains confident of a stable peace and order situation in the province despite the spate of killings in recent weeks.

“I don’t think anybody can conclude that there is a breakdown of peace and order here in the province. It’s something we will look for ways to avoid or stop,” Lacson said in an interview on Wednesday.

The vice governor’s statement came after reports of killings of several individuals in the province that started with the Sagay City massacre, which claimed the lives of nine farmers, last month.

On Tuesday night in Kabankalan City, lawyer Benjamin Ramos Jr. was gunned down by two unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants.

Ramos was the secretary-general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers-Negros Occidental Chapter and was among the legal counsels assisting the Sagay 9.

Lacson said he believes that law enforcement agencies are working to resolve these cases.

“Our authorities who are responsible in maintaining peace and order are very clear on who they are after. We leave it to them as far as that is concerned,” he added.

Despite these incidents, Lacson said “it is not enough to say there is a breakdown of peace and order” in Negros Occidental.

“We, in the government sector, our responsibility is to reach out to as many people as we can especially the poor so we can help them through the resources of their respective local government units,” he added.

Earlier, Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. formed the Special Task Force “Hustisya” to “ensure a thorough and impartial investigation” on the killings of the nine farmers in his hometown of Sagay City.

The massacre took place at Hacienda Nene, Purok Firetree in Barangay Bulanon, which the victims occupied, on October 20.

The governor said the Special Task Force will ensure a thorough and impartial investigation on the Sagay 9 incident to ferret out the truth so that justice shall be served to the families of the victims at the soonest time possible. (PNA)

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