Press Release
March 6, 2023


Sen. Chiz Escudero on Monday called on the government to pursue an all-out war against gun-for-hire syndicates "with the full might of intelligence funds."

"Only the identification and dismantling of groups of hired killers can assassinations be stopped," Escudero stressed as he condemned the brazen killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo right in his own home over the weekend.

The Bicolano legislator said the brutal killing of the governor "is among the many signs that paid killings is becoming a cottage industry in the Philippines."

Escudero proposed that the P5.22 billion intelligence funds be distributed across several agencies and "should be tapped in creating an actionable database of these killers."

"And if these perpetrators have pending warrants of arrest and they are armed and dangerous, then that listing could be an order of battle," he pointed out.

"Kaya kahit mahuli pa ang pumatay kay Governor Degamo, hindi garantiya 'yan na walang kasunod kung merong mga kriminal na ginawang negosyo ang pagkitil ng buhay," Escudero said.

"Killings eventually become a revolving door phenomenon if we do not neutralize the actors now and in the long run, fix the kinks in our justice system," he added.

While the Degamo assassination, and those of other elected officials before him, have attracted media attention, the former governor of Sorsogon noted "there are many killings of ordinary people who just remain entries in police blotters."

"Gobernador man o negosyante o manggagawa, parehong sigasig dapat ang ipakita ng kapulisan sa pagbigay hustisya sa kanila," Escudero said.

He said murders done with impunity, which remains unsolved, have given rise "to copycat killings."

"People get emboldened if they see murders go unsolved. Kapag hindi nahuli, it incentivizes future acts. Maraming nagsasabi na bakit pa ipa-papulis o magsasampa ng kaso na gagastos pa na meron naman shortcut. 'Yan ang kalunus-lunos na katotohanan sa maraming lugar, " Escudero said.

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