Hundreds demand justice for slain mayor at funeral
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar, Philippines—The streets of Calbayog were filled with yellow ribbons and confetti as its slain mayor was laid to rest Saturday afternoon.
At least 1,000 people in yellow shirts, many of them from far-flung towns in Samar, joined the funeral march that brought Mayor Reynaldo Uy to his final resting place at the Saint Ignatius Cemetery, about a kilometer away from the city center.
“Justice for Mayor Ining Uy” were the words printed on their shirts.
One of those who joined the funeral march was 63-year-old Elena Sanchez from the island town of Tagapul-an, Samar.
She said that like many Samareños, she wanted justice for slain mayor and his family.
“He was a very good leader. He took care of us, poor people by providing us projects that benefited us,” she said.
The police have yet to arrest the lone gunman who shot and killed Uy, a stalwart of the Liberal Party in Samar, inside covered multi-purpose hall of Hinabangan town, Samar, on April 30 despite the P2 million bounty offered by the family.
Superintendent Elizar Egloso, information officer of the regional police office, assured Uy’s family and supporters that the police were doing everything to solve the murder.
“We have no breakthrough yet as no one has surfaced to help us identify the suspect (sic),” said Egloso in an interview by mobile phone. “But we assure the family of Mayor Uy that we will not stop until the (killer) is arrested.”
The casket bearing Uy’s remains was brought from the City Hall to the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Calbayog for an 8:30 a.m. Requiem Mass and necrological service that lasted for nearly four hours. The Mass was officiated by Bishop Isabelo Abarquez assisted by about 30 priests from the Diocese of Calbayog.
In his Homily, Abarquez condemned the killing of the mayor, whom he described as a well-loved doctor and leader.
“He was not just someone, but a somebody among his folks… a somebody among his constituents and a somebody among his colleagues in the House of Representatives. His death is not a defeat but a victory,” he said.
An emotionally charged necrological service followed the Mass.
Among those who spoke were Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz and Representatives Mel Senen Sarmiento of Samar, Raul Daza of Northern Samar and Teddy Casiño of the partylist group Bayan Muna.
Casiño described Uy as one of the leading figures in Samar who fought against forced disappearances and extra-judicial killings.
Uy, he added, was one of the few courageous leaders who opposed the assignment of former Major General Jovito Palparan in Samar.
“Who would have thought that he would die in violence,” Casiño said.
Daza cautioned Uy’s supporters against resorting to violence in their quest for justice.
“I am calling for calm and sobriety. Let us not go on with the cycle of violence. Violence is counter-productive,” Daza said.
Uy’s daughter, Rosa Jessica Uy-Delgado, said they never thought that such a tragedy would fall on the family.
But she said she hoped her father’s killer would be punished.
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