Senators condemn killings, attacks vs gov’t execs
MANILA, Philippines — Senators on Monday adopted a resolution, denouncing the spate of killings that claimed the lives of government officials and their staff and constituents.
Senate Resolution No. 517 was co-authored by all 24 senators. It was adopted by the Senate during the plenary session.
The resolution, which principally expresses the Senate’s strong condemnation of the violence, also called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement bodies to undertake steps to ensure everyone’s safety.
“We cannot afford to be desensitized to incidents like these. We cannot accept these attacks as a normal part of our culture. We cannot let violence like this terrorize our people, and force us all to live in fear,” Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said in his co-sponsorship speech.
“Worse yet are the deaths of innocent civilians, who have nothing at all to do with whatever motivations are behind these assassinations. To target government officials is dastardly, but to involve hapless civilians is downright evil. We can even consider this ambush to be an act of terrorism,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, meanwhile, expressed anger over the incident.
“Maging si Satanas ay nagimbal sa kawalanghiyaan ng mga ito. Wala na silang takot sa gobyerno. Walang katiting na takot sa ating mga awtoridad. Mga walang konsensya at walang kaluluwa. Shameless. Barbaric,” he said in his sponsorship speech.
(Even Satan was shocked with the shamelessness of these people. They do not fear the government. There is not a hint of fear to authorities. They have no conscience and soul. Shameless. Barbaric.)
For Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, the incident instilled worry and panic among Filipinos.
“The impunity and brutality instilled horror, anxiety, and panic among our people. This poses an enormous challenge to our law enforcement authorities, particularly the Philippine National Police. Peace and order must be restored in our communities and ensure that the criminals behind these evil deeds be held accountable,” the former PNP chief said.
From February 17 to March 4, four local executives were either hurt or slain in ambushes.
Aparri, Cagayan Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda and Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo were killed on February 19 and March 4, respectively. The gun attack on Alameda took place in Nueva Vizcaya. Degamo, on the other hand, was assaulted inside his residence in Pamplona town.
The Senate likewise adopted Senate Resolution No. 520, expressing profound sympathy and sincere condolences on the death of Degamo.
“It is my belief that, given the frequency of attacks on public officials, it is imperative that we look into the causes and drivers of these incidents so that we can institute the necessary measures – whether policy pa po ‘yan o legal o (policy, legal, or) law enforcement – para subukang maiwasan ang ganitong mga pangyayari (to try to avoid these incidents),” she said in her manifestation.