The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) says that there is no pattern in the killing of mayors and assures the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) that the Philippine National Police (PNP) is ready to provide additional security should they need it.
“We see no pattern in the killing of mayors. Each case has on its own facts. They are not at all related. In fact, only a small portion are definitely drug related,” says DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Ano.
Ano also says that not all of the cases are connected to illegal drugs as others speculate. “Hindi lahat ng mga kaso ng pagpatay ay may kinalaman sa droga. The rest are personal, political, and other reasons.”
The DILG Chief issued the remark after the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) aired their concern about their safety because of the killing of two Luzon mayors in successive days this week.
Ano assures the mayors that there is no cause for concern and that the police is ready to provide additional security to them.
“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,” he tells the mayors.
He says local chief executives (LCEs) just need to file a request for additional security with the PNP which shall validate if there is indeed an existing threat on the mayors and if such threats are serious. “The PNP decides on these requests on a case-to-case basis.”
The LMP is seeking a dialogue with President Duterte over the back-to-back killings 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 motorcycle-riding assassin as the mayor came out from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) office in Cabanatuan City. On the other hand, Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan City was shot dead by an unidentified gunman while attending the flag raising ceremony last Monday in front of city hall employees.
The DILG Chief assuages the fears of the mayors as he assures them that the police is now on top of both cases and is doing its best to solve them and find the assassins.