Press Release
July 2, 2018

On the killing of Tanauan Mayor Halili

There's a sniper on the loose in Batangas. Tony Halili was the latest politician in the province felled by a marksman's bullet.

The province is littered with bodies of victims of political assassinations and unsolved murders, and each unsolved killing emboldens the next, creating a spiral of violence, which authorities cannot seem to stop.

When the rule of law is more observed in the breach, including by agents of the state who do it with impunity, it incentivizes people to take the law into their own hands, and indicts the police for failing to stop it.

When killings are rewarded by the failure of authorities to solve them, it strengthens the culture of violence, where disagreements are settled by permanently silencing the opponent.

Tony Halili was a colorful man who had done many great things for his people and Tanauan city. He had a governance style that was unconventional in some aspects, but it effectively kept the city he loved safe and prosperous.

My thoughts and prayers are with Tony's loved ones. I condole with his family. I condemn his death. I urge the police to arrest the killers on the loose.

He will be missed by his people. They have lost their mayor, and I a good friend.

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