Press Release
July 23, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1,105:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Prevalence of Sniper Assassinations


NBI should take-over investigation of sniper assassinations.

Nakakabahala ang dalawang magkasunod na balita na sniper ang pumatay sa tatlong radio personalities, dalawa sa Davao at isa naman sa Cebu.

Aside from their chilling effect on radio personalities and the media in general, the three consecutive murders tell us that other than the usual riding-in-tandem modus, snipers are now being used as assassins as well. What is troubling is the idea that not just anyone can be a sniper. Snipers are exclusively highly-skilled military or police personnel, trained in the AFP or PNP special forces.

These killers should be easy to trace. All that one needs is a roster of all trained snipers of the AFP and PNP, both in the active service or retired, with focus on those with extensive combat experience and those dishonorably discharged from the service. This does not mean that the assassins are conclusively from the AFP or PNP, but it is a place to start the investigations, rather than simply add these cases to the PNP's list of unsolved crimes. Better yet, the NBI should take over the investigation of high-profile assassinations, whether involving snipers or riding-in-tandems.

It does not take rocket science to figure out that highly skilled and highly trained assets of the AFP and/or PNP are now being used in the lucrative EJK business, made profitable and ordinary under the Duterte regime. Whether they are deployed by the government to carry out state-sponsored assassinations or hired as freelance assassins, this trade has to stop or no one will be safe.

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