DILG dismisses pattern in killing of mayors

MANILA The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it sees no pattern in the killing of mayors, assuring the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) that the Philippine National Police (PNP) is ready to provide additional security should they need it.

Each case has its own facts. They are not at all related. In fact, only a small portion (is) definitely drug-related, said DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo AAo in a news release issued Thursday.

Hindi lahat ng mga kaso ng pagpatay ay may kinalaman sa droga. (Not all cases of killings are connected to illegal drugs.) The rest are personal, political, and other reasons, AAo said

The DILG chief issued the remark after the LMP aired concerns over the safety of its members due to the successive killing of two Luzon mayors this week.

AAo assured the mayors that there is no cause for concern and that the PNP is ready to provide them additional security.

Ang ating kapulisan naman po ay handang magbigay ng karagdagang seguridad anumang oras sa ating mga alkalde at iba pang lokal na opisyal. Makipag-ugnayan lang po kayo sa kanila (The PNP is ready to provide the mayors and other local officials additional security anytime. Just coordinate with them), he told the mayors.

AAo said local chief executives just need to file a request for additional security with the PNP, which shall validate if there is indeed a threat them and if such threats are serious.

The PNP decides on these requests on a case-to-case basis, he said.

The LMP is seeking a dialogue with President Rodrigo R. Duterte over the back-to-back killing of mayors in recent days, including those who were linked to the illegal drug trade.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio in Nueva Ecija was gunned down by a motorcycle-riding assassin as he came out of the National Irrigation Administration office in Cabanatuan City.

A day earlier, Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan City, Batangas was shot dead by an unidentified gunman while attending the flag-raising ceremony with city hall employees.

The DILG chief assuaged the mayors' fears, saying the PNP is on top of both cases and is doing its best to find the assassins. (DILG PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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