Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. has ordered a crackdown on the unauthorized use and sale of police uniforms after it was learned that the gunmen in the assassination of the vice mayor of Aparri, Cagayan on Sunday were dressed like the police.
PNP public information office chief Police Col. Redrico Maranan added that Azurin also called on sellers of PNP uniforms to check the identification of buyers.
The PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group has also been tasked to go after people who are selling PNP uniforms online, Maranan said, reminding the public that it is against the law for civilians to wear police uniforms.
In a statement on Sunday, a police spokesperson said the suspects were not members of the PNP.
“Let us be clear on this: No PNP member is involved in this incident. What we are looking at is the possibility that the suspects were just wearing police uniforms to make it appear they are legitimate government forces because they have set up an unauthorized checkpoint in the ambush area,” said PNP spokesperson Police Col. Jean Fajardo.
Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. on Monday condemned the assassination attempt on Lanao Del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. and the killing of Aparri Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda and his security escorts and driver.
“These dastardly acts have no place in a civilized society,” Revilla, co-chairman of the Lakas-CMD party, said.
Earlier, Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio and Speaker Martin Romualdez—chairman and president of Lakas, respectively – led political leaders across the country in condemning the attacks.
Revilla said the assassinations were a slap in the face of law enforcement agencies, and that the PNP should spare no effort in hunting down the perpetrators and masterminds and immediately bring them to justice.
The PNP, he said, should be proactive in maintaining peace and order, not reactive.
“You should always be steps ahead to prevent evil people from causing harm to our people,” he said.
Alameda, on his third term, and five of his companions were killed on Sunday morning after their vehicle was shot in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya. They were on their way to a Vice Mayors League meeting in Metro Manila.
The assailants, on board a white Mitsubishi Adventure with government plates, blocked the highway near the MV Duque Elementary School in Bagabag town and when Alameda’s car approached, they riddled it with bullets.
The victims were taken to the Region 2 Trauma and Medical Center but were declared dead on arrival.