Robredo urges gov’t to solve murder of Los Baños mayor, others
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday urged authorities to solve the gruesome murder of Los Baños Mayor Cesar Perez, warning that as more murders go unsolved, the more the government appeared to be incapable of bringing perpetrators to justice.
“Whenever such a crime goes unsolved, without bringing justice to the perpetrators, it is the fault of the government because it’s unable to protect its own citizens,” she said on her weekly radio show.
Perez, 66, was shot twice in the head by two unidentified gunmen while he was walking toward the municipal city compound Thursday evening.
He was among the 46 so-called narcopoliticians named by President Duterte, and the 20th local official to be killed since 2016.
“According to the reports, the police station was just 1 kilometer away,” Robredo said. “So my question is, why did this happen?”
Robredo also noted similarly brazen murders committed in the past month: Vincent Adia, who was finished off by his gunman inside an Angono hospital on Nov. 4; and Judge Ma. Theresa Abadilla, who was shot in her own chamber on Nov. 11.
“Who is safe? It’s like murder is being normalized,” Robredo said. “Why is this being allowed to happen, and nobody is being brought to justice?”
The Vice President welcomed the Department of Justice’s order to the National Bureau of Investigation to probe Perez’s death.
But Robredo urged authorities to resolve Perez’s case swiftly, as it “does not bode well for such cases to go cold—it’s making the government appear incapable of finding the killers.”
Sen. Leila de Lima expressed alarm over the Filipino public’s apparent “silence and apathy” over the continuing extrajudicial killings in the country.
In a handwritten statement on Saturday, De Lima denounced the “brazen” assassination of the Los Baños mayor.
“We cannot be numbed or desensitized by this continuing cycle of violence and impunity. We cannot remain silent. Silence or apathy promotes this madness,” she said.
De Lima said Perez became the latest in a growing list of victims of extrajudicial killings, where the most recent string of murders involved lawyers.
De Lima also aired her concern over the arrest of community leader Amanda Echanis in her home in Baggao town, Cagayan province.
A former Commission on Human Rights chair, De Lima said she feared for the safety of Echanis and her infant, which she said, brings back the memory of Baby River, who died after months of being separated from her mother, Reina Mae Nacino. INQ