Stop linking politicians death to Duterte : Vice Mayors League President

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DAVAO CITY  (July 16) — Critics of President Rodrigo Duterte should stop linking every politicians  death to the President,  said Magsaysay Davao del Sur Vice Mayor Donnabel Joy Mejia, the national president of the vice mayors league of the Philippine (VMPL) on Saturday.

Mejia said political feud is among the reasons why politicians are killed and any politician can be a victim

The VMPL is the organization of all city and municipal vice mayors in the country.

Mejia issued the statement as she observed Duterte’s critic instantly link every killing to Duterte, she  however,  stressed “Any official can be a victim of political feud” especially that it is the eve for the filing of certificate of candidacy for the 2018 elections.

Mejia considered the killings of Trece Martires, Cavite Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan and Sapa-Sapa Tawi-Tawi Vice Mayor Al Rashid Mohammad Ali, as isolated cases.

“Hindi maganda na i-connect siya with Digong kasi ang nangyari were only isolated cases (It is not good that we connect it to the President because the incidents were isolated cases),” she said.

Mejia said the murder of the two vice mayors could be related to politics in their respective towns.

“Iba yung nangyari sa Trece Martires, iba yung nangyari sa Zamboanga City,” she said.

She added that officials could be victims of similar cases due to “political feud” in their areas and these could not be blamed to the President.

“When I went to Trece Martires, sinabi nga nu’ng asawa ni Vice Mayor Lubigan, sinakyan lang ito kasi may namatay (na) mayors. Parang sinakyan lang yung pangyayari.” she said.

Mejia said even high-ranking local officials who were killed including Tanauan City, Batangas Mayor Antonio Halili and Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote, had already received threats from their enemies.

Sapa-Sapa, Tawi-Tawi Vice Mayor Al-Rashid Mohammad Ali, was on board his vehicle when he was shot by motorcycle-riding gunmen while traversing Governor Alvarez Avenue, Zamboanga City,   Wednesday July 11.

Senior Supt. Allan Nazaro, director of Zamboanga City Police Office, said the victim was traveling with his family and a security escort when the ambush took place and the police is still investigation the case.

Ali died in the hospital after sustaining two gunshot wounds in his chest.

Ali’s  death has raised to 16 the number of mayors and vice mayors killed since Duterte unleashed his deadly anti-narcotics campaign when he came to power in 2016.

Mejia said the VMLP has already asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) for security detail but PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde advised vice mayors to hire private security personnel from an accredited agency.-Editha Z. Caduaya/NewsLine.ph with PNA report

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