Spate of killings turning PH into ‘murder capital of Asia’ – Trillanes
Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has accused President Rodrigo Duterte of turning the country into “murder capital of Asia” amid the spate of killings of drug suspects, priests, and public officials.
The latest of which was Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili, who was shot dead by still unidentified suspects while singing the national anthem during the flag ceremony on Monday.
“Duterte’s culture of violence is upon us. No one is safe now. Regardless, whether Mayor Halili is involved in the illegal drug trade, nothing justifies this murder,” Trillanes said in a statement on Tuesday.
Duterte, in a speech hours after the mayor’s assassination, suspected that Halili was involved in illegal drugs.
“Now for someone who promised to restore peace and order in our country during the campaign, it is ironic for a lot of people that Duterte has actually turned the Philippines into the murder capital of Asia,” the senator said.
INQUIRER.net has asked Malacañang for its reaction on this latest statement of Trillanes but yet to receive a reply, as of posting.
Trillanes then urged the PNP to not only protect the citizens from criminals but to also follow “only legal orders from their superiors.”
Trillanes further called on the PNP’s Crime Investigation and Detection Group and the National Bureau of Investigation to leave no stone unturned and bring to justice the perpetrators of Halili’s “gruesome” killing.
Another opposition member, Senator Risa Hontiveros, also believes that Halili’s assassination could be “directly attributed” to alleged “climate of killing and impunity” under the Duterte administration.
“I condemn the assassination of Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili, who was killed during a flag ceremony on Monday,” Hontiveros said in a separate statement.
“This is another murder that possibly rode on the wave of killings in the country. It could be directly attributed to the climate of killing and impunity created and nurtured by President Rodrigo Duterte, which has disturbingly devalued human life,” she said.
The senator said political assassinations, like extrajudicial killings, were “direct assaults on democracy.”
“They abandon modern procedural justice in favor of satisfying the lust for blood and violence. The President has brought us back to the dark ages,” she pointed out.
“We are less safe than ever before. In fact, we are not safe at all. If mayors, other local government officials and even priests can be killed in broad daylight, the threat to ordinary civilians is that much greater,” she also said.
Hontiveros urged the PNP to launch a full investigation into Halili’s killing and bring all those responsible to justice. /kga
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