Independent probe on killing of Calbayog Mayor Aquino: Pangilinan

March 10, 2021

SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan exhorts the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an independent and exhaustive probe on the ambush of Calbayog Mayor Ronaldo Aquino and his companions, saying killings without prosecution will further embolden criminals.

The senator emphasized the need for an independent and credible investigation to ferret out the truth behind the incident after the police changed its version that what happened was a shootout with cops and not an ambush.

“Why is the Philippine National Police (PNP) changing tune from an ambush to a shootout?  Why were the police wearing bonnets and carrying heavy firearms?  What could be the motive of the mayor and his aides in shooting the police, if the claim of the PNP chief is to be believed?” Pangilinan said.

He said witnesses should also be guaranteed protection for their safety and security so they could freely narrate what they saw and help solve the case.

Pangilinan said the spate of killings in the country should not make the public feel desensitized to the violence and injustice happening.

“We are all shocked or distressed, but we should also feel outraged by the loss of lives,” he said.

He lamented that the PNP, the very institution supposed to protect and preserve law and order, are the ones allegedly at the helm of the controversial killings.

“Kung hindi nanlaban, nagtatago ng illegal na armas, at ngayon naman, nakipagbarilan. Parang may storya na agad ang pulis para hindi sila ang masisi sa mga pagpatay at paglabag sa karapatang pantao na nangyayari ngayon,” Pangilinan said.

“Kaya’t sinusulong natin ang masusi at patas na imbestigasyon para maparusahan ang nagkasala at makamit ang hustisya para sa mga biktima,” he added.

Pangilinan earlier questioned the absence of body camera during police operations, which will provide the real picture of the incidents. He said millions of pesos have been appropriated for the gadgets since 2018, but cops are still not wearing one.