PNP eyes politics behind local officials’ slay
After two mayors and one vice-mayor were brazenly killed in a span of a week, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said that politics may be a possible motive for all cases, especially since the next elections will be held in less than a year.
“Parang ang unang tentative hypothesis ng ating mga imbestigador ito ay may relation sa pulitika, malapit na ang campaign period,” PNP Spokesperson Senior Supt. Benigno Duran said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer on Sunday.
(It appears that the first tentative hypothesis of our investigators is that the killings are related to politics because of the campaign period is near.)
“Kung pag-aaralan natin, ang karahasan na ang biktima ay ang mga pulitiko at ang gustong sumali sa pulitika, parang may trend, ‘yon ang nangyari sa aking experience sa mga nakaraang taon,” he added.
(Since the victims are politicians and those who want to enter politics, there seems to be a trend, based on my experiences in the past year.)
Last Monday, Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan City, Batangas was shot dead from afar during the local government’s flag-raising ceremony. On the following day, Mayor Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija, was killed inside his car, with at least 18 bullets pumped into in his body.
Then on Saturday, Trece Martires, Cavite Vice Mayor Alexander Cruz Lubigan was ambushed.
According to Durana, while there is a trend pointing to election-related violence, this would not stop the police force from working harder to solve and deter crime.
“Hindi ‘yon dahilan para po kami ay magpahinga, patuloy ang inyong kapulisan to do our job conduct police visibility, focused law enforcement,” he said.
(We should not stop doing our jobs and continue to conduct police visibility, focused on law enforcement.)
“Para po ma-reassure ang ating mga kababayan na hindi po nagpapabaya, at tumututok ang inyong kapulisan para mabigyan ng kapayapaan ang ating mamamayan.”
(This is to reassure our people that we are not remiss in our duty to ensure peace in our communities.)
Durana also clarified that unlike Halili, Lubigan was not in the PNP’s drug watch list.
He emphasized, however, that the PNP is only a contributor to the list, and that high-level government officials may have more information than they have, which leads them to the observation that the motive for the killings may be “political.” /ee
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