[In the news] De Lima deplores killing of 48th human rights activist in Negros -Manila Bulletin

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday raised anew the possibility of a death squad targeting human rights advocates at the helm of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

De Lima raised this notion following the recent murder of human rights advocate Bernardino Patigas whose death added up to the growing number of human rights defenders killed in Negros Island.

De Lima, a known human rights defender currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters over drug charges, said Patigas’ murder has further raised suspicions that there was a death squad targeting rights advocates in the province because his killing “hews closely” to the type of killings that transpired in the past months.

“One death is one too many. When they kill Bernardino Patigas because of his beliefs and principles, the killers also attack all of us who value human rights, truth, justice and freedom,” De Lima said in her latest dispatch.

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