TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte 3rd District Representative Anna Veloso Tuazon condemned the impunity and violence leading to murders and the alarming spike in killings and assassinations in recent months in the municipalities of San Isidro, Leyte, Tabango, Villaba, and Calubian.

“They create a chilling effect among our citizenry, and have no place in a society that values life, dignity, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and adherence to the rule of law,” the representative said in a statement.

A barangay chairperson, kagawad, and tanod were killed, while one other survived, when four still unidentified malefactors barged into a barangay hall and shot them Saturday night (February 24).

The recent incident involved the killing of Brgy. Daja Diot, San Isidro, Leyte chairperson Elizalde Tabon, 55; Paul Al Mandero, 52, brgy. kagawad; and Rusty Salazar, brgy. Tanod. A civilian identified as Alex Bacor survived the shooting inside the barangay hall.

“We are with you in grief, prayer, and outrage. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of Brgy. Chairman Otam, Kagawad Intoy, and Brgy. Tanod Rusty,” she said.

“We also grieve with and pray for the loved ones of Kagawad Rodulfo Cajes of Brgy. Tag-abaca, and Kagawad Ronald Palacio of Brgy. Sta Rosa,” she added.

Both village officials were shot in separate incidents this week in Leyte, Leyte.

“We appeal to everyone’s vigilance, sense of civic responsibility, courage, and empathy, and ask for continued cooperation with our investigators and law enforcers to facilitate the thorough investigation, prosecution, and swift dispensation of justice against the perpetrators of these dastardly acts against our public officials and citizenry,” she further said.

Meanwhile, Leyte Police Provincial Office (LPPO) director, Col. Erwin Portillo, also condemned the killings and assured the public that they are taking the matter very seriously.

“This incident is currently under investigation, and we have deployed additional resources and manpower to expedite the process and bring the perpetrators to justice,” he added.

He further said that their primary focus is the safety and security of the residents in San Isidro and other municipalities in the 3rd district of Leyte.

“We are collaborating with other law enforcement agencies, conducting thorough investigations, and utilizing all available resources to ensure a swift resolution,” he disclosed.

Leyte PPO has enhanced its patrol efforts, established 24-hour checkpoints, and implemented measures to heighten visibility and police presence. By Marie Tonette Marticio (EV Mail Feb. 26-March 3, 2024 issue)