Recent spate of violent crimes will be solved, Abalos assures House
MANILA, Philippines — The recent spate of violent crimes, including attacks on politicians, will be solved, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. assured House Speaker Martin Romualdez in an emergency meeting with lower chamber officials on Monday.
The speaker’s office provided journalists with a video of the meeting.
Romualdez, who had called the meeting, asked Abalos if he and Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which is under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), could assure the House that the crimes would have a “speedy resolution.”
“Yes, Mr. Speaker,” Abalos replied.
“So we want just to be clear. We want to message that out that we are not negligent,” Romualdez said, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino. “Can we see which of them are actually solved? Or what would be the proper way to view the status?”
“It’s just hard to say, but as you could recall, the Yvonne Chua [Plaza] case, the one with Jess Durante? Remember that. It’s a high-profile (case). It has been solved because of this special task force,” Abalos answered.
He was referring to the filing of cases against eight Philippine Army officers, including Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III, former chief of the Presidential Security Group, for allegedly being responsible for Plaza’s death.
On Sunday, Romualdez’s office revealed that the speaker asked for an emergency meeting with the DILG and the PNP to discuss the recent spate of violence reported across the country.
What Romualdez had in mind was the ambush last Feb. 22 of Mayor Ohto Caumbo Montawal of Datu Montawal town in Maguindanao on Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City. The mayor survived the ambush with gunshot wounds in his hip and left arm.
There was also the Feb. 19 ambush in Nueva Vizcaya of Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda of Aparri town in Cagayan. Alameda and five others were killed in that incident.
Then last Feb. 17, four were killed when the convoy of Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. was ambushed by still unidentified gunmen in Maguing town. Though wounded, Adiong survived the attack.