A bloody year

Opinion Sideglance

The local elective officials in the country are raising their voices out of concern and trepidation in the recent successive killings of several of their colleagues.

The Philippine National Police through its PNP Chief General Oscar Albayalde has come up with a statement that the killings of prominent local officials such as Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan City, Batangas, General Tinio town mayor Ferdinand Bote who was felled by at least 18 bullets as he rode a car out of the National Irrigation Administration and Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan  of Trece Martires City in Cavite who was likewise killed in an ambush does not follow any pattern, but that they will implement much tougher security measures including a crackdown on armed groups, guns-for-hire and loose weapons to prevent further incidents of the same nature.

What is disturbing really is the apparent impunity wielded by these killers in accomplishing their evil intent of killing these local elective officials.

2018 is turning out to be a bloody year for local officials and the national government must do its very best in solving these crimes which put to risk and endanger the successes achieved by local government officials in particular and local governance in general.

PNP Chief Albayalde had also announced that the murders, for that is what they are, of these local officials does not seem to be politically motivated at first glance although he also admits that the probability of politics being involved in these tragic incidents cannot also be easily discounted, since the next local election is just around the corner.

At this time an exhaustive and intensive investigation is being conducted by the authorities and we can be sure that they will leave no stone unturned to apprehend the culprits in these dastardly acts. Nonetheless it must also be pointed out that with the almost daily killings that is also happening in relation to the war on drugs being waged by the present administration the masterminds of these killings done against local officials have found a convenient smokescreen and camouflage in the execution of their evil plans.

The murder of these local officials have also generated a fear among other local executives who feel that they are no longer secure and safe in the execution of their duties and functions as public servants. The national government must immediately find a way to re-assure and assuage their subordinates in order to obviate any grave anxiety that they might feel as a result of these killings.

For us ordinary folks we can only watch with trepidation the evolving situation of an increasing climate of fear brought about by the brazenness of these crimes.

The government needs to do something about this.