Senate resolution to resolve succession of city official slayings without martial law


By Macon Araneta i FilAm Star Correspondent

Sen. Bam Aquino wants to take a hard look at the recent assassinations of several mayors and vice-mayors and propose solutions without resorting to martial law.

“We should take a stand against a culture of violence in our country. Filipino families are being left and hurt in the conflicts and killings,” said Aquino.

“Hindi sagot ang mala-martial law na patayan at intimidasyon sa mga problema ng bayan,” he  added.

In his Senate Resolution No. 901, Sen. Bam Aquino called on the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, to look into these killings that have caused grave concern, fear, insecurity, and distress in the general populace.

With some of the attacks happening in broad daylight, Aquino said the killings of local leaders underscore the growing culture of impunity and escalating violence that threatens to permeate Philippine society today.

Aquino underscored the need to investigate these killings to assure the public that the government is capable of maintaining peace and order and protecting the lives of the Filipino people.

“Ngayong pati sa city hall mismo pinapatay ang matataas na opisyal ng gobyerno, mahalagang malaman natin kung kaya pa ba ng pamahalaan na protektahan ang mga ordinaryong Pilipino,” said the opposition senator.

Last July 2, Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan City, Batangas was shot dead during the weekly flag raising ceremony in front of the city hall. The next day, Mayor Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija was killed in an ambush in Cabanatuan City. Both incidents happened in broad daylight.

On July 7, Vice-mayor Alexander Lubigan of Trece Martires, Cavite was killed in an ambush, while Vice-mayor Al-Rashid Mohammad Ali of Sapa-Sapa, Tawi-Tawi was shot dead in an ambush on July 11.

On September 5, Ronda, Cebu Mayor Mariano Blanco III was shot dead inside his own office.

Carmencita Navarro, wife of Bislig City Mayor Librado Navarro, was killed by a lone gunman on September 15, while she was walking at the Poblacion’s Baywalk. The victim was expected to run for Bislig mayor in the 2019 elections.

Just recently, Sudipen, La Union Mayor Alexander Buquing was killed in an ambush in the municipality of Bangar. Buquing was the 11th mayor killed during the Duterte administration.

Aquino has also filed resolutions looking into the killings of several youths in the hands of police and the attacks against religious leaders.