MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday called on Filipinos to unite against the recent killings of priests, public officials, loiterers and youths.
"Huwag nating hayaang humantong sa sukdulan ng kaguluhan ang kalagayan ng ating bayan. Sa panahon na ito, ang ating nagkakaisang boses ang panlaban natin sa kultura ng karahasan at patayan," Robredo said in a statement.
(Let us not allow the state of our country to reach the peak of chaos. In these times, our united voice against crime is our weapon against a culture of violence and killings.)
"Sa ating mga salita at gawa, ipakita natin ang tunay na mukha ng Pilipino: mapagkalinga, hindi marahas; may pagpapahalaga sa buhay ng kapwa, at hindi sa pagkitil nito," she added.
(Through our words and actions, let's show the true face of the Filipino: compassionate, not violent; puts value on the life of others, and not in ending it.)
Mayors Antonio Halili of Tanauan, Batangas and Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija were gunned down in brazen attacks this week.
Unidentified gunmen also shot dead 3 priests in the last 6 months, while a 22-year-old man arrested amid the government's campaign against loiterers died while in detention at a police facility.
Robredo expressed solidarity with Filipinos who have felt anger over the killings.
"Buo ang paniniwala kong marami sa atin ay nakakaramdam na ng galit at pagkasuklam tuwing may bagong balita ng pagpaslang," she said.
"Kaisa ako ng bawat Pilipinong naghahangad sa isang bansang malaya mula sa tahasang paggamit ng karahasan; isang bansa kung saan abot-kamay ang hustiya para sa mga biktima ng walang saysay ng pagpatay, anuman ang katayuan sa buhay."
(I wholeheartedly believe that many of us have felt anger and wrath every time there is news of another killing. I am one with every Filipino who desires a country free from the brazen use of violence, a country where justice is accessible to all victims of senseless killings, no matter what their status is.)
She also urged the police to delve into the killings and take steps to prevent such incidents.