Senator Panfilo Lacson has urged the Philippine National Police to focus on the political situation in La Union after Vice Mayor Al-Fred Concepcion was killed by unidentified gunmen in Balaoan town Wednesday.
One of Concepcion’s aides was also killed, while his daughter Mayor Aleli Concepcion was wounded by gunmen who fired from both sides of the Balaoan-Luna Road in La Union.
Lacson said La Union seemed to have taken the place of Abra, where he said killings of politicians usually spike during elections.
“Parang sunud-sunod na ang nangyari sa
La Union. I think the PNP should exert extra effort and focus on the political situation in La Union. Kasi nagkakaroon na ng
,” [It seems that killings happen consecutively in La Union. I think the PNP should exert extra effort and focus on the political situation in La Union. It seems that a pattern is emerging.] he said in a Senate forum.
Lacson said the killing of Concepcion could be proof that gun-for-hire groups cuddled by some politicians are now springing into action as the elections draw near.
The senator also warned that allowing impunity to prevail in the latest killing might encourage other politicians to order the killing of their opponents since they might think the crime is not being punished anyway.
He also said the issue on politicians using gun-for-hire groups is already an “open secret.”
“Kapag malapit na ang eleksyon o simula na ‘yung
campaign, pag may namamatay na mga kandidato, wala ka namang ibang unang maisip na motibo kundi pulitika,
” [When the elections draw near or the campaign has started and a candidate is killed, you won’t immediately think of any other motive other than politics.] Lacson said.
The attack against Concepcion is the third fatal assault to politicians in La Union this year, according to regional police.
On May 12, former La Union Rep. Eufranio Eriguel was killed by armed men at Barangay Capas in Agoo town.
In October, Mayor Alexander Buquing of Sudipen, La Union also died in an ambush. His driver and a police officer were also killed in the incident.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said he will recommend La Union to be declared an election hotspot.