AGOO, La Union – Civil society groups held a rally Nov 15 in Freedom Park, this town where they denounced the spate of shooting incidents in the province particularly Tubao and Agoo towns and dramatized their call for peace and justice for the victims’ families.
Leaders and members of several civil society and cause-oriented groups that included UCLA-Peacebuilders La Union, Tignay-PPCRV, Commission on Human Rights, Kanlungan North Luzon, Bannuar ti La Union, Amnesty International, other human rights watch groups, and Catholic and Protestant churches converged at the park at noon time for a short prayer for peace.
As an expression of their sentiments, the group lighted candles, made brief messages, held a ceremonial signing of pledges for justice, and the simultaneous release of white balloons while singing peace songs.
Police Regional Office 1 Director, Police Chief Superintendent Franklin Jesus B. Bucayu stressed that the activity showed the unity of the police and civil society groups and the community as one force with the noble intentions of upholding human rights and promoting security, peace and order.
“Cooperation from the community is an essential component to the cracking of these killings; it is not the sole responsibility of the police. We are one with civil society groups in our utmost concern and desire to help La Union particularly Agoo and nearby municipalities a safer place to live in,” Bucayu added.
Earlier, Bucayu relieved Tubao chief of police Senior Inspector Luis C. Liban due to the deteriorating peace and order situation in the municipality and designated Police Senior Inspector Benigno C. Sumawang, Human Resource Development Division Officer of La UNION Police Provincial Office (LUPPO) as Officer In Charge of Tubao police station.
La Union Provincial Police Chief Senior Supt. Ramon O. Purugganan said that the existing peace and order situation in Tubao necessitates the change of leadership.
Last October 29, Atty. Lazaro C. Gayo was shot dead by an unidentified gunman inside the Posadas Gayo Law Office in Barangay Consolacion in Agoo town. Gayo was a former vice mayor and an aspiring candidate for sangguniang panlalawigan.
Rodolfo Estoque, a barangay kagawad was also shot to death while incumbent Mayor Dante Garcia survived an ambush perpetrated by still unidentified suspects.
Bucayu had met with the leaders and members of various civil society groups in a move to to stop violence in the province particularly in Tubao town.
“Our common stand with the civil society groups is that we are against all forms of violence and we will work hand in hand to have a secured and fair elections (SAFE 2013) next year,” Bucayu said.
Troops from the Regional Public Safety Battalion 1 (RPSB 1) have been sent to Tubao town as augmentation force.#