Palace says legal remedy available for family of slain Laguna mayor

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2020 03:26 PM

Palace says legal remedy available for family of slain Laguna mayor 1
Mayor Caesar Perez of Los Baños, Laguna. Photo from Municipal Government of Los Baños Facebook page/File

MANILA — Malacañang said Monday the government would provide legal remedy to the family of a slain mayor from Laguna province whom President Rodrigo Duterte earlier linked to the narcotics trade.

Investigators are already looking into last week's fatal shooting of Los Baños Mayor Caesar Perez inside the municipal hall compound, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

"Iniimbestigahan at bibigyan po natin ng remedyo, sang-ayon sa lokal na batas natin, ang mga mahal sa buhay ni Mayor," he told reporters.

(We are investigating and will give remedy, pursuant to our law, to the loved ones of Mayor.)

Last year, Duterte included Perez in a list of politicians with alleged links to illegal drugs. The mayor had denied this and blamed politics for the accusation.

The case build-up against those in the narco-list is still ongoing, said Roque.

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Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday expressed concern over a recent string of "brazen" killings, including those of Perez, a judge in her courtroom, and a patient at a hospital. 

"Sino pa ba iyong ligtas? Iyong mayor, ganiyan iyong nangyayari sa kaniya. Parang nano-normalize, nano-normalize iyong patayan," she said on her radio show. 

(Who's safe? The mayor, that's what happened to him. It's like it's getting normalized, killing is being normalized.)
Roque said the Vice President should wait for the investigation's findings. 

"Mayroon po talagang mga hakbang na ginagawa ang kapulisan para ma-identify kung sinong pumatay bago tayo magkaroon ng konklusyon," Roque said. 

(The police are taking steps to identify the killers before we could arrive at a conclusion.)

"At dahil pare-pareho naman po kaming mga abogado, kung may ebidensya siya na talagang gobyerno ang pumatay, isampa po ang kaso," he added. 

(And because we're all lawyers, if she has evidence that it was the government who killed Perez, she should file it.) 

Asked if the public should be alarmed over the killings, Roque said, "Hindi naman po siguro dahil ginagampanan naman po ng Estado ang kaniyang obligasyon." 

(Perhaps not because the State is fulfilling its obligation.)

Just hours before Perez was shot, Duterte, at a ceremonial destruction of seized illegal drugs at a facility in Cavite, told law enforcers and prosecutors to "never waver" in the fight against the narcotics trade despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Me, as mayor and now as President, I have to protect every man, woman, and child from the evils of drugs. Ayaw ninyong maniwala? Kayo. Basta sinabi ko, ang laro dito, patayan, because nakita mo naman, marami naman akong pulis na patay," he said.

(You don't believe me? That's up to you. But I've already said, this is a game of death, because, as you have seen, many of my policemen already died.)

"Now, I’m telling the law enforcement, the uniformed personnel: Do your duty. Do it in accordance with law, pero (but) be alert and be wise. Alam mo, kaunting pagkamali lang, barilin mo na. Because if you are not — maunahan ka o maalanganin ka, na-leche na. I will assume full legal responsibility," he added.

(Just a small wrong move, then shoot. Because if you are not - they do the first move or you hesitate, then that's going to be a problem. I will assume full legal responsibility.)