High-profile killings attempt to erode confidence vs Duterte, Palace says
Malacanang said on Wednesday the successive killings of two mayors this week was an attempt to erode confidence against President Rodrigo Duterte.
This as Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a statement, denied the alleged culture of impunity in the country following the murder of Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili and General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote for the past two days.
"There is no culture of impunity in the Philippines as we do not condone any state-sponsored killing," he said.
"We continue to adhere to the rule of law and consider the recent killings of high-profile figures as an attempt to erode confidence in the President, whose main platform of governance rests on fighting crimes," Roque stressed.
Akbayan Party-list Representative Tom Villarin has blamed Duterte for the killings of Halili and Bote.
He accused Duterte of giving "free license" for the series of killings, particularly of drug suspects.
Despite alleged attempt to diminish confidence in the president, Roque said this would not stop the government in restoring order in the country.
"We, however, cannot be deterred in our focus in securing and restoring order in the community. Our people have acknowledged the President as 'the protector of people,' as evidenced by surveys giving him high satisfaction, approval, trust and performance ratings," he said.
Roque added the Philippine National Police is sparing no effort to find and capture the killers of the two slain mayors.
Halili was shot dead by an unidentified sniper during a flag-raising ceremony on Monday in front of the Tanauan City Hall Duterte has said Halili was allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
Bote, on the other hand, was ambushed while inside his vehicle near the National Irrigation Administration office in Cabanatuan City on Tuesday.
However, according to the Department of Interior and Local Government, Bote was not linked to illegal drugs. Celerina Monte/DMS