Vincent Parra, officer-in-charge of the CHR Bacolod Sub-Office, at the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism workshop on Human Rights Reporting*
There were 81 human rights complaints in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City in 2022, including 64 for extra judicial killings, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) reported on Tuesday, January 31.
About 30 of the EJK cases were for murders linked to illegal drugs, while the rest were agrarian reform and armed conflict related, Vincent Parra, officer-in-charge of the CHR Bacolod Sub-Office, said Tuesday, January 31.
Parra was one of the speakers at the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism workshop on Human Rights Reporting led by its training director Rowena Paraan at the Seda Capitol Central hotel in Bacolod City.
The CHR is also investigating seven more human rights and EJK cases in Bacolod and Negros Occidental reported this January.
These include the case of a hogtied fish vendor whose body was found in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City, on January 27, and the remains of three humans dumped in Silay City, he said.
The CHR is also investigating the case of the severed hands found soaked in beef broth that were found in Brgy 2, Bacolod, he said.
There were 40 complaints of human rights violations in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City lodged before the CHR in 2017, 38 in 2018, 56 in 2019, 55 in 2020, 75 in 2021 and 81 in 2022.
The EJK cases were 11 in 2017, 19 in 2018, 39 in 2019, 39 in 2020, 46 in 2021 with the highest in 2022 at 64, a CHR report showed.
The other human rights complaints lodged in 2022 were one for physical injuries, one for enforced disappearance, nine for violation of the right to liberty and security, three for rape, one for child abuse and two for divestment of properties, the CHR reported.
Parra said the CHR investigates the complaints, and gives financial assistance to those who are determined to be victims of human rights.
He said the police and military have refused to provide them with blotter and investigation reports of the human rights cases that could help in their investigations, which they take into account in their reports on what law enforcement agencies have done to resolve cases.
“We strive to coordinate with them but perhaps there is an issue on trust,” he said.
But he assured that the CHR conducts its own investigations of the complaints.
Parra also noted the victims or relatives of human rights victims do not go to the CHR office to lodge complaints. However, the CHR motu proprio or without a formal request acts on such cases, he said.
Most of the perpetrators of EJKs remain unidentified and law enforcers they interview say they are vigilante killings, he said.*