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Grief before Christmas



robert roque robroq

IT is truly saddening that some people would rather shroud their fellow men in grief and bring sad­ness rather than spread love and happiness this holiday season.

Albay Governor Al Fran­cis Bichara revealed that a whopping P30 million has been offered by some congressmen and the provincial government of Albay for anyone who can provide information on the identity of the mastermind and the gun­men who slew Ako Bicol Party-list Representa­tive Rodel Batocabe and his police escort, Senior Police Officer 2 Orlando Diaz, in Albay over the weekend.

The 52-year-old Bato­cabe and Diaz were busy handing gifts to senior citizens and persons with disabilities in Daraga, Al­bay when at least six men showed up and shot them dead. It was Batocabe’s last term as congressman and he was running for Daraga mayor in the com­ing election.

Several senior citizens were also wounded in the attack. The heartless assault was done on the 26th wedding anniversary of the Batocabes. The victim left behind a wife and two children.

Initial investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) suggested that the inci­dent was politically moti­vated. Probers were also looking at the possible link between politics and communist activity in the attack.

A regional police offi­cial disclosed that Bato­cabe recently expressed his apprehension alleg­edly over some of his po­litical opponents for the mayoral post who have been employing armed groups to influence the elections.

Apart from Batocabe and his escort, two other men were gunned down last Saturday. Jolito Ja­kosalim Talaid, former mayor of Kadingilan town in Bukidnon, was about to board his car when at­tacked in Cagayan de Oro City on Saturday morn­ing. Eduardo Panganiban, barangay chairperson of Panghayaan in Taysan town, Batangas was also shot by three men inside his garage at 7 a.m.

The killers, who had the gall to deprive three families of their loved ones three days before Christmas, remain un­identified.

At this point in time when countries are call­ing for world peace and leaders condemning the use of arms, especially nuclear weapons, it is disappointing that some people are still unaware of the true value of hu­man life. If these sense­less attacks continue, none of us would ever feel truly safe. Where are the police when you need them the most?


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