Some mayors in Bohol have expressed concern over the recent killings of two local chief executives in Luzon, according to Clarin Mayor Allen Ray Piezas, president of the League of Municipalities Philippines (LMP)-Bohol.
Piezas said that the mayors, who he did not name, were concerned that they would become the next targets even if they have been scrupulous in carrying out their duties as chief executives.
“Ang atong mga mayor nanawag nato nagpadayag og kabalaka nga ‘unsa naman ta ani nga mayor namay mga target’,” said Piezas.
The LMP president expressed belief that local chief executives who are relentless in their campaigns against illegal drugs are likely to be targets of killings.
“Daghang factors kung naa ka sa katungdanan. Number one kanang sa drugs, labina og grabe ang imong suporta. Kaduha, there are some policies sa imong area sa imong lungsod nga naa g’yuy maligsan,” he said.
According to Piezas, threats are “normal” for government officials as there would always be people who will be displeased with their policies.
“No matter how nice you are, no matter how you tried your best to befriend everybody, dili gyud na mahitabo kay di man gyud ma-please nimo tanan. Naa gyuy dili moangay nimo, that’s normal,” said Piezas.
The Bohol Provincial Police Office led by its director Sr. Supt. Angeles Geñorga has already met with the LMP together with officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to discuss the safety of mayors in the province.
In a span of two days, Tanuan City, Batangas Mayor Antonino Halli and General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote were gunned down by unidentified assailants om July 2 and 3, respectively.
Bote was shot dead by a motorcycle-riding suspect in front of a hospital in Cabanatuan City.
The killing came just over 24 hours after Halili was killed by a single shot to the chest while attending a flag-raising ceremony.
Halili is believed to have been killed by a skilled marksman who shot him from long range.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte said that mayors should not be afraid to carry out their duties in addressing illegal drug issues.
Duterte, during a visit to Bohol, assured mayors that he will defend them if they encounter harassment while doing their jobs as local chief executive.
“All you have to do is tell me, sinong kalaban mo, sinong nangharras sa inyo. Kung gusto mong ma solve ang problem, we solve the problem together. Ako mismo pupunta doon, sabay tayo,” said Duterte. (R. Tutas)