Palace blames ‘political season’ for Tawi-Tawi vice mayor slay despite martial law in Mindanao

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Malacanang said Thursday that even if there is martial law in Mindanao, it does not mean that there would no longer be killings, such as the case of a Tawi-Tawi town vice mayor.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that it seems that it is now a political season.

“Well, again po , hindi po natin masasabi iyan, kasi mukhang political season na po talaga. At napakadaming mga political related killings na nakakalungkot,” he said in a press briefing when asked about the slay of Vice Mayor Al-Rashid Mohammad Ali of Sapa Sapa town in Tawi-Tawi Wednesday, July 11, despite the imposition of martial law in southern Philippines.

But he stressed that President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to discharge the state obligation to speedily investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of the killings.

Duterte has placed the whole of Mindanao under martial law since May last year due to the Marawi siege.

The Tawi-Tawi vice mayor was the fourth top local executive who was killed in less than two weeks in the country.

Roque said the recent series of killing were only highlighted in the media because the victims were known personalities.

“Sunud-sunod because it’s high profile. But if you look at the statistics, the number of homicide has actually declined. Marami lang kasing prominente na nata-target,” he said.