Chiz to gov’t: Use intel funds to neutralize gun-for-hire syndicates

Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Monday, March 6 urged the government to pursue an all-out-war against gun-for-hire syndicates using 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 Gov. Roel Degamo right in his own home over the weekend.

Escudero noted the brutal killing of the governor “is among the many signs that paid killings is becoming a cottage industry in the Philippines.”

For this reason, he said the P5.22-billion intelligence funds should be distributed across several agencies and “should be tapped in creating an actionable database of these killers.”

If the perpetrators have pending arrest warrants, are armed and dangerous, the senator said the listing can be considered an “order of battle.”

“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 (Even if the killers of Gov. Degamo is arrested, it’s not guaranteed that there would be no next victims especially if there are criminals who have made it a business to kill individuals),” 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.

Nevertheless, he said, law enforcers should also give equal priority to the killings “of ordinary people who just remain entries in polcie blotters”

“Gobernador man o negosyante o manggagawa, parehong sigasig dapat ang ipakita ng kapulisan sa pagbigay hustisya sa kanila (whether governor or businessman or worker, police should show persistence in giving justice to them),” 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 (If they are not arrested), it incentivizes future acts,” he pointed out.