Medical and Fact-finding Missions in Negros Oriental

A proposed ordinance regulating outreach activities such as medical and fact-finding missions in Negros Oriental is now underway as discussions begun on Thursday at a meeting of the technical working committee created by the governor.

Those who attended the meeting were League of Mayors in the Philippines (LMP)-Negros Oriental chapter head Mayor Reynaldo Tuanda of Jimalalud, Commission on Human Rights special investigator Jess Cañete, Provincial Legal Counsel Erwin Vergara, Department of Interior and Local Government provincial head Jufralito Lorico, and Board Members Marcelo Adanza and Mellimore Saycon.

To recall, during the last regular gathering of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), Gov. Emilio Macias II had ordered an interim committee to look into the proposal of regulating such activities.

CHR investigator Jess Cañete had raised the suggestion during the PPOC meeting following heightened public interest on the death of a 21-year old nurse, Rachelle Palang from Cebu, who died during an encounter between government troops and members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Tagik, Barangay Calango in Zamboanguita town.

Palang’s family had said that she asked permission to come to Negros Oriental on a medical mission but military sources insist that she was allegedly armed and figured in the clash that left three suspected NPA rebels dead, including her.

According to Board Member Saycon, the proposed ordinance to regulate outreach activities in the province shall be based on the three laws under the International Humanitarian Law of the Geneva Convention.

He said the ordinance only seeks to keep a documentation of all medical and fact-finding missions that shall be conducted in the province, especially in the hinterland barangays. – PNA

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