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Killings of mayors, priests

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Two days in a row, the lives of two mayors – Antonio Halili of Tanauan City, Batangas and Francisco Bote of Gen. Tinio in Nueva Ecija – were snuffed out. Mayor Halili was killed by a sniper’s bullet while he and other officials were singing the national anthem while Mayor Bote was gunned down as he left the NIA offices in Cabanatuan City.


According to reports, at least 14 mayors and vice mayors have been killed during the Duterte administration and  Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra immediately ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a thorough probe on the deaths of at least the latest two victims.


The killings of the mayors came after the killings of priests, prosecutors and judges and other personalities, even in broad daylight and in busy places, making some to conclude that President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-crime campaign is slowly becoming a failure as the criminals seem no longer afraid of the law enforcement authorities. Mr. Duterte himself has admitted he seemed helpless in the fight against drugs and crimes, so he hinted making a proclamation of national emergency throughout the land by way of pressing the campaign.


An anti-crime summit might be in order to address the situation. The participation of the people is also a must in the campaign. Peace and order is sine qua non to progress and development. So, the government should make the anti-crime campaign a priority.

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