Negros Occidental execs urge PNP to solve mayors’ killings

Marchel P. Espina
'If the PNP can’t protect the mayors, how can the ordinary people feel secure?' says Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, chairman of the Association of Chief Executives

LOCAL CHIEFS. Mayors in Negros Occidental strongly condemn the killings of local chief executives in the country. Photo courtesy of Teresa D. Ellera

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Local chief executives in Negros Occidental have urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to solve the consecutive killings of mayors in the country.

This came few days after  Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan City, Batangas, was shot dead during the weekly flag-raising ceremony at city hall on Monday, July 2; and the killing of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote the day after.

The Association of Chief Executives (ACE) and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP)-Negros unanimously passed a joint resolution condemning the killings of the two mayors and sympathizing with their respective families in a meeting on Thursday, July 5, at L’ Fisher Hotel here.

Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, ACE chairman, said the police had assured the safety of mayors in the province.

“Still, we ask the national PNP to solve the problem. It’s the basic obligation of the PNP to protect its people, and the mayor is part of the people,” Palanca said.

“If the PNP can’t protect the mayors, how can the ordinary people feel secure?” he added.

He said no mayors in the province had asked for additional security and that  except for La Castellana Mayor Rhumyla Mangilimutan – a former PNP officer – no other mayor in Negros Occidential had received death threats.

Because of the killings, some mayors have low morale and cannot go all out in their campaign against criminality and drugs due to security concerns, said Pontevedra Mayor Jose Benito Alonso, LMP-Negros president. 

The PNP is also asking the help of the mayors because the campaign against drugs and other criminalities need cooperation, he added.

Both Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson had also condemned the successive killings of mayors in the country. 

The governor told the mayors here to be extra careful while Lacson is hoping there is a speedy resolution to the cases and justice will be served. –