Two party-list lawmakers on Tuesday condemned the reported killing of a religious leader in Tagapul-an, Samar on March 17 by unidentified assailants.
According to police officials, Pastor Jet Tan and his wife were jogging in Barangay Labangbaybay in the morning when he was shot several times. Tan, authorities said, was not known to be involved in any conflict in their town.
Tan was the head pastor of the Forever Praise Evangelical Church in the Philippines and was the chairman of the Conservative Baptist Association of the Philippines in Eastern Visayas.
“Nobody has the right to take one’s innocent life for whatever reason,” said Rep. Eddie Villanueva of the Citizens Battle Against Corruption party-list group.
“This callous incident is just one of the many killings in the country that serves no justice in the end. This recent series of killings should come to an end and ruthless death made through violence must stop,” added Villanueva, House Deputy Speaker for Good Governance and Moral Uprightness.
Villanueva and his fellow CIBAC representative, Domingo Rivera, expressed alarm over the current spate of killings in the country which they said “implies violence and human rights violations.”
The two legislators cited the said ambush of Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino in Samar, the killing of nine activists during simultaneous police operations across Calabarzon, and the murder of a mother and son in Tarlac.
“We are very disturbed about the growing state of violence in the country that could be considered as fast spreading like the deadly COVID-19. The current situation in our country wherein killing freely an individual becomes normal is really disheartening and alarming, especially for the future of our nation,” Rivera said.
“With this heartless kind of act, we are already ignoring and even desecrating human rights that protects God’s gift of human dignity and deemed to be an important cornerstone of peace,” Villanueva added.