MANILA, Philippines – House Minority Floor Leader Danilo Suarez on Thursday, December 27, called for "violence-free" elections this coming 2019, after the recent killing of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe.
"Congressman Rodel was set to run as mayor in Daraga in the coming 2019 elections. In this context, the Minority states that there is no place for violence in the exercise of suffrage and democracy," Suarez said in a media briefing.
"The Minority calls for an honest and violence-free elections," he added.
Suarez said Batocabe died as a "true public servant." The late lawmaker was part of the House minority and chaired several committees.
Suarez also called on law enforcement agencies to "hasten its investigation." (IN PHOTOS: Batocabe murder crime scene)
"We call on the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies to hasten its investigation so that the perpetrators of this unspeakable crime be brought to justice," Suarez said.
A day after the lawmaker's killing, AKO Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin Jr's Legazpi City home was robbed.
But Suarez believes the robbery had no connection with the slaying.
"Robbery is now quite rampant dahil mahirap ang buhay at pangalawa, magpa-Pasko (because life is difficult and second, Christmas was approaching," Suarez said.
On Wednesday, December 26, President Rodrigo Duterte added P20 million to the bounty of the killers, bringing the total reward money to P50 million.