PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has ordered police authorities to identify hotspots of political violence, days after the murder of a local official in broad daylight at his residence where eight civilians were also killed and 16 others wounded.
On the sidelines of a Malacañang event on Monday, Mr. Marcos said he told Interior Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr. as well as the Philippine National Police “to make an examination” of areas that can be considered political hotspots, an assessment activity that is normally done during election season.
“I told them to make it again. Don’t think of the election first… but think of the hotspots and let’s look into them,” he added.
Mr. Marcos Jr. said authorities should identify areas where there are illegal firearms, and reiterated the need to “dismantle” private armies.
Gunmen shot Roel R. Degamo, governor of Negros Oriental province, while distributing aid at his home in Pamplona town on March 4.
Multiple murder and illegal gun complaints have been filed by police against three suspects involved in the shooting, according to Mr. Abalos, while several other possible suspects are being tracked.
“We are still in hot pursuit of these individuals and we’d thank the Philippine National Police’s quick actions on the case,” he said at a news briefing on Monday.
“We also need to look at all possible angles and motives for the murder but I assure everyone that we have good progress with our investigation.”
The governor was shot by one of six men wearing military uniforms who barged into his residential compound.
Meanwhile, Senator Ana Theresia N. Hontiveros-Baraquel filed a resolution seeking a probe on politically motivated killings following Mr. Degamo’s murder.
“These killers are so emboldened, the violence happens in broad daylight,” she said in Senate Resolution No. 518.
Mr. Degamo’s death came a month after Rommel G. Alameda, vice mayor of Aparri in the country’s north, and five of his companions were killed by gunmen riding a government car in February. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and John Victor D. Ordoñez