Hontiveros filed Resolution No. 518 seeking probe in the recent “political killings” in the country following the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.
The opposition senator said that the killings are becoming “increasingly disturbing,” especially because of the “complicity and active involvement of men formerly in the uniformed service.”
“A Senate investigation should be conducted not only to exact justice for the victims but also to identify the underlying drivers of the killings, particularly the failure and inaction of our institutions, including our law enforcement agencies, to address political and election-related violence,” Hontiveros said in her resolution.
These include the attacks against Cagayan Vice Mayor Rommel Almeda, Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong, Jr., Mayor Ohto Caumbo Montawal of Datu Montawal, Maguindanao del Sur, and the killings of former vice mayor Danilo Amat of Quezon, Quezon Province, former vice mayor Romeo Sulit from Lobo, Batangas and former mayor Rosita Furigay of Lamitan City, Basilan.
Hontiveros also hopes that the Malacañang can speak on the issue beyond individual cases.
“Huwag nating gawin normal ang patayan (Let us not make killings normal). The past years have encouraged murder as a default way of silencing and manipulating. Our people are not just collateral damage of political agendas. It is time for a rude awakening for those who abuse their power. The government must take a strong stand as an institution to condemn these killings and to take concrete actions to end this savagery,” she said.
She also raised the need for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to review its processes on settling election-related disputes and violence as the “inordinate delay” of its en banc’s rulings may have aggravated vindictiveness.
A separate resolution was filed by Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva and was joined by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Senators Nancy Binay, Raffy Tulfo, Ronald dela Rosa, Francis Tolentino, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Go, JV Ejercito, Grace Poe, Sonny Angara, Bong Revilla Jr., Sherwin Gatchalian, and Mark Villar, condemning the recent violent incidents against the local officials.
“Injustice and violence do not have a place in any civilized society and no cause justifies brutalities against the lives of all persons,” the senators said.
“The Senate of the Philippines, in the strongest sense, urges the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to exert all efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice not only for the sake of all victims and their families, but to ensure that the rule of law is upheld at all times for an orderly and peaceful society,” they added.
Senator Imee Marcos, on the other hand, called for the declaration of State of Emergency in Negros Oriental in a bid to put, especially the masterminds, behind bars.
For now, Philippine National Police chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said they will not recommend the declaration of such in the province since some of the suspects have already been arrested. (SunStar Philippines)