Vice-President Leni Robredo on Saturday joined a furious chorus condemning the murder of Rodel Batocabe and calling for "swift" justice for the Ako Bicol party list representative.
"He was smart and eloquent, witty and cheerful, a person who lived life to the fullest. He will be missed, both for his service and his friendship," said Robredo, who hails from Bicol and is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines in Diliman like Batocabe.
They were colleagues in the 16th Congress.
Robredo added: "Beyond my personal grief at his passing, is the growing rage at yet another brazen murder, committed in broad daylight, in the middle of a crowd.
"This cannot, and must not be the new normal. When Filipinos, young and old, rich and poor, are gunned down in cold blood as a matter of course, and where none of us can feel safe."
"This impunity must end," Robredo said, offering her sympathies to Batocabe's wife, Gertie, and their family.