Ansabe nyo? Zarate hits Albayalde for downplaying priests’ killings as ‘isolated’

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Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate on Tuesday criticized Philippine National Police (PNP) director General Oscar Albayalde for dismissing the recent spate of killings of priests as “isolated”.

“This is really inexcusable, even revolting, coming no less from the PNP chief who, in the same breath also said that there are around 1,000 rogue cops who are armed and dangerous,” Zarate said in a statement.

Zarate also slammed the PNP chief for saying that there is no cause for public alarm over the killings.

He stressed that instead of downplaying the killings, the politiko urged Albayalde to run after the rogue cops that he was saying.

“General Albayalde should stop downplaying the extent of the state of impunity in the country because many have already been killed because of it. It would be best if he go all out in finding and arresting these rogue cops and those responsible for the thousands of extrajudicial killings and other violations of human rights in our country,” he said adding that same rogue cops might become hired guns.

“Just imagine, even if just half of these rogue cops have become hired guns then it should really be a cause for alarm because they could have been hired to assassinate more priests, journalists, activists and critics of the administration,” he added.

Albayalde earlier said that he has ordered the regional director of Police Regional Office 3 Central Luzon to form a special team to investigate the killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo.

Nilo was shot dead Sunday by still unidentified suspects as he was about to officiate a mass in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija.

Prior to this, motorcycle-riding gunmen also killed Fr. Marcelito Paez, a parish priest in Jaen, Nueva Ecija in December last year.

Another priest Fr. Mark Anthony Ventura was shot by motorcycle-riding gunmen late April after officiating a mass in Barangay Piña in Gattaran, Cagayan.