Vice President Sara Duterte on Thursday called on law enforcement authorities to put an end to the series of deadly attacks against elected local government officials.
“Let me take this opportunity to raise the urgent need for our law enforcement authorities to solve, to address, to put an end to the alarming string of violence perpetrated against elected officials,” she said during the second day of the 2023 National Election Summit.
On March 4, Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo was killed at his residence in Pamplona in an attack also left eight other people dead.
In the last four weeks, at least four other local officials had been injured or killed in attacks across the country: on February 17, Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr. survived an ambush in Bukidnon that killed four of his companions; on February 19, Aparri, Cagayan Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda and five others were killed in an ambush in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya; on February 22, Datu Montawal, Maguindanao del Sur Mayor Ohto Caumbo Montawal was hurt after two assailants shot him in Pasay City; and on February 26, Barangay San Carlos chairperson Vivencio Palo was shot dead in Lipa, Batangas.
“This spate of violence leaves not only a trail of death but also establishes a chilling climate of fear among the people. Worse, given the experiences of people elected into office, these acts of violence could potentially spawn more bloodbaths if perpetrators and those who masterminded them are not brought to justice,” Duterte continued.
She stressed that condemning such attacks is not enough, and urged law enforcement authorities and other concerned government agencies to exhaust their resources and ensure that no act of violence will happen again to elected officials, and even their families, supporters, and allies.
“Dapat po na may managot. Dapat may makulong. Dapat mahinto itong mga ganitong patayan,” the Vice President said.
(Someone should be held accountable. Someone should go to jail. These killings must stop.)
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday branded Degamo's assassination as unacceptable and terrifying, and vowed that it will not go unpunished.
He tasked the Department of the Interior and Local Government, including the police force, to identify the "hotspots" following the recent killings of local government officials. — BM, GMA Integrated News