Senators brush up on gun skills amid spate of killings
MANILA, Philippines — A number of senators have begun brushing up on their gun skills amid the recent spate of killings of public officials, the latest of which involved the “brazen” murder of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo.
In an interview, Sen. JV Ejercito said senators have since become concerned about their security, as Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva returned to the firing range for shooting drills, while he himself bought firearms for his aides.
“I used to be not so conscious of my security, but I guess this is the time to take [the matter] seriously. In fact, [Zubiri and Villanueva] took firing drills while I just got back from a gun store for my aides,” he said.
Ejercito, chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, admitted Degamo’s “gruesome” killing is a cause of concern, pointing out how the killers and their mastermind seemed to have wanted to send a message that “no one can mess with them.”
“It’s really a cause of concern and I think that most of the cases are politically motivated. The most gruesome of these killings was this latest case on Governor Degamo because the killers were that blatant and fearless,” he said.
Ejercito clarified that while the senators were licensed gun owners, they suddenly felt the need for “some practice” as it has been a while since they had marksmanship training.
He noted that the operation against Degamo was well-funded and the suspects highly trained, their movements were synchronized and they had outstanding weapons, which could purportedly indicate that an influential person was behind the killers.
“If this was the work of an ordinary hitman, they could have used lame or ordinary firearms … and how come five of the six police security details of the governor suddenly did not report for work that day, that should also be looked into,” he said.
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