Press Release
April 5, 2010



The Liberal Party today lamented the continued attacks against its candidates for local positions as party leaders condemned anew the Arroyo government's apathy against the breakdown of law and order in the countryside.

LP President Sen. Mar Roxas expressed concern the killings of LP political leaders Habib Andi Maulana of Pagadian and Jun Olila of Sominot, Zamboanga del Sur during the Lenten week could be part of a sinister scheme to paralyze the party's growing network in the Mindanao region to pave the way for massive cheating during the May 10 national and local elections.

"Nakikiramay kami sa pamilya ng aming mga lider sa Mindanao. Pati sila ay nadamay sa kaitiman ng budhi ng administrasyong ito, na gagawin ang lahat manatili lamang sa poder," said the LP vice presidential candidate.

Roxas, along with LP standard-bearer Sen. Noynoy Aquino, again called on Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno and National Police Chief Director General Jesus Versoza to account for the killings despite their much-publicized assurance that security have been stepped up to prevent attacks on candidates, particularly those belonging to opposition camps.

"Hindi lang naman mga kandidato ng administrasyon ang dapat na binibigyan ng proteksyon ng ating PNP at AFP. Bakit sa tuwina'y mga kandidato ng LP ang pinapatay at hina-harass? Bakit hindi pantay-pantay ang proteksyon na ibinibigay ng PNP at AFP sa mga kandidato?" he asked.

Reports said Maulana was shot dead on April 1 (Holy Thursday) while driving his motorcycle, with his wife and their child on the backseat, in Baranagay Tiguma in Labangan town. Initial police investigation showed that motorcycle-riding armed men cut Maulana's way on the national highway near the Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT) and shot him in the head. The police later recovered an empty shell of a caliber-.45 pistol at the crime scene.

Olila, on the other hand, was killed on April 3 (Black Saturday) at around 11 a.m. Initial police investigation showed the still unidentified suspects used a .45 pistol to kill Olila.

The number of LP political leaders in the province of Zambaoanga del Sur who have been killed had now reached 13. The list includes four political leaders in Labangan town, three from the municipality of Aurora with one wounded; followed by two in Molave town, one in Tambulig, one in Barangay Mitokong in Dumalinao town, one in Kumalarang town and one in Sominot.

Also, Aquino and Roxas said Puno and Versoza to require provincial director Supt Ramon Ochotorena to account for his inaction to stop and resolve the spate of killings of LP supporters and leaders.

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