Press Release
October 5, 2017

Koko condemns murder of councilor and son, slams PNP for unsolved murders

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Thursday denounced the killing of Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro councilor, Melchor Arago, and his 15-year old son by unidentified gunmen on Tuesday.

Arago, 52, was in his car, which was parked in front of his house, when two motorcycle-riding men approached and shot him, shooting his son Kenneth as well, when the latter was spotted going out of the house.

"This is yet another murder by the now usual modus operandi of motorcycle-riding gunmen. Where is the peace and order that [PNP Chief] dela Rosa says the people are ungrateful for?", said Pimentel.

The Senate President was referring to an outburst from PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa, where he referred to critics of the drug war as "ingrates".

Pimentel, who was instrumental in the passage of the NBI Modernization Law, challenged the PNP to shape up.

The Senate President said, "Criminals are being emboldened by what they see as the incompetence of the PNP in catching them."

According to the PNP's own figures, there were 6,225 drug-related deaths between July 2016 and September 2017.

These deaths were broken down into 2,290 drug-related deaths or homicide cases under investigation, 3,850 deaths during police operations, and 85 police or military personnel killed in action.

The Senate President said that the large number of unsolved "deaths under investigation" is unacceptable.

Pimentel said, "One homicide is one unnecessary death too many. Add the large number of unsolved killings, made worse by some of the victims being minors, and you start wondering what the police is there for."

The Senate leader emphasized that the police must have the proper training and tools to carry out President Duterte's campaign against drugs and criminality.

"The Filipino people deserve a modern, professional, and capable police force. Right now, the PNP is none of the above. We need to take radical action to change this state of affairs", said the Senator.

The Senate President previously suggested having a VFA-style treaty with foreign police forces to help train the PNP.

Pimentel is no stranger to the modernization of law enforcement agencies, having been the principal sponsor of Republic Act No. 10867, or the "National Bureau of Investigation Reorganization and Modernization Act."

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