More senators condemn Ako Bicol congressman’s slay
MANILA, Philippines — More senators have denounced the killing of Ako Bicol partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe, who was assassinated in Daraga, Albay on Saturday afternoon.
Batocabe was at a gift-giving for senior citizens and persons with disabilities in Barangay Burgos when still unidentified assailants attacked him and his police escort around 3 p.m.
Senator Nancy Binay expressed alarm over the incident and asked authorities to immediately resolve the murder of the 52-year-old congressman.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the assassination of AKO-BICOL Rep. Rodel Batocabe, and I call on our authorities to immediately conduct a probe and get to the bottom of this issue,” she said in a statement.
She also called on the Commission on Elections to declare Albay as an “election hotspot” to protect the citizens of Albay.
“Given the recent spate of violence in the province, with the killing of two mediamen allegedly due to politics earlier this year, I urge the Commission on Elections to declare Albay an election hotspot to guarantee the safety of every Albayanon,” Binay said.
Senator JV Ejercito also condemned the “senseless killing” of Batocabe, whom he described as “one of those with legislators with substance.”
“Sad to hear news that Rep. Rodel Batocabe was killed in an ambush in Daraga, Albay. He was a colleague of mine in the HOR [House of Representatives] during the 15th Congress. He is a very nice person & one of those with legislators with substance,” Ejercito said in a separate statement.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian was also shocked to learn about the death of Batocabe, whom he called “an outstanding public servant.”
“I am shocked and outraged by the murder of my former House colleague and fellow energy advocate, Congressman Rodel Batocabe,” he said in a statement. “The Filipino people have lost an outstanding public servant today. I send my deepest condolences to the Batocabe family.”
Meanwhile, Senator Bam Aquino said Batocabe’s murder signals the urgency “to end impunity” in society.
“We urge concerned authorities to leave no stone unturned and conduct a thorough probe on the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Aquino said in a statement.
“Panahon na upang wakasan ang karahasang kagaya nito sa ating lipunan. (It is time to end impunity in our society.)” he added.
Earlier, Angara and Poe also decried the assassination of Batocabe.
Poe even urged for an end to “political violence” in the country. /kga
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