Robredo: Calbayog mayor slay, other killings ‘should not be treated as normal’
MANILA, Philippines — The ambush-slaying of Calbayog City, Samar province Mayor Ronald Aquino and other killings “should not be treated as normal,” Vice President Leni Robredo said on Tuesday as she called for justice for the slain official.
“Hindi normal ang pagpaslang na ito (This killing is not normal). It should not be treated as normal that mayors, community organizers, lawyers, judges, journalists, children, and even victims of the drug trade are outright murdered in our streets or in their homes,” she said in a statement.
She noted that it was just days after the “massacre” of activists in Southern Tagalog that the Aquino ambush occurred.
Robredo blamed the killings on “impunity, the normalization and incitement of violence and the kill, kill, kill rhetoric coming from the highest offices.”
She also called for a “clean, competent, and independent” investigation into Aquino’s death.
“Hindi kami mapapagod magsalita. Hindi kami titigil sa paggigiit ng karapatan at dignidad at halaga ng buhay ng bawat tao,” Robredo said.
(We will not grow weary of expressing our views on this. We shall not cease in our advocacy for the worth and dignity of every Filipino life.)
Aquino was on his way to his son’s birthday celebration when a group of unidentified men fired at his vehicle.
The Calbayog mayor died along with two of his security personnel.
Police said it was a shootout case, but Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Sarmiento, Aquino’s friend, dubbed it as an ambush and called on the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an impartial investigation.
For its part, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has formed a task group to investigate Aquino’s killing.
Malacañang has condemned the killing of Aquino, anticipating further acts of violence leading up to the 2022 elections.
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