The Catholic bishop of the Diocese of San Carlos in the central Philippines condemned the killing of a health consultant in the province of Negros Occidental on Monday night.
“We are shocked! This is totally unexpected! As your pastor, I strongly condemn this abominable assault on the primacy and sanctity of human life!” said Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos.
The prelate said the killing of Mariano Antonio “Marton” Cui III on April 12 is “another mark of senselessness on the use of violence against human life.”
“When will these killings stop? This culture of death must end!” said Bishop Alminaza.
Cui, 62, consultant for hospital operations of the provincial government of Negros Occidental, was shot dead as he was about to board his vehicle in front of his office.
He sustained two gunshot wounds on the neck, according to the police.
Police said the assailants fled on board an unidentified vehicle toward the town of Calatrava after Cui’s security escorts returned fire.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson of Negros Occidental said he was “deeply saddened and shocked by the murder.”
Bishop Alminaza reiterated his call in a pastoral statement, which was signed by other bishops on the island of Negros in 2019, “to end the killings in Negros Island.”
“We reiterate our call for an end to violence in Negros island, victimizing our very own people —farmers, civil society leaders and even government officials,” he said.
“Our police force must be resolute in solving the crimes and acts of violence with due diligence, assuring our people of the need of a secured society,” added Bishop Alminaza.