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PIA Press Release

PGMA wants expeditious probe on Rabaya slay

Quezon City (1 April) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has instructed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to act expeditiously in investigating the killing of a congressional candidate from Quezon province whose body with gunshot wounds was found yesterday inside his vehicle in Quezon City.

"President Arroyo wants the killing of congressional candidate Vicente Rabaya, Jr. to be resolved as fast as the Bersamin case and a full team-up of law enforcement agencies is already in place," Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said in his column "The View From the Palace" which comes out tomorrow (Monday).

Rabaya, 43, a candidate for congressman of the fourth district of Quezon province under the Nationalist People's Coalition, was found inside a sport utility vehicle parked in front of a used car lot along Katipunan Avenue at past midnight yesterday with gunshot wounds in the head and abdomen.

"The President has also directed the PNP to intensify police visibility, deploy mobile checkpoints to interdict loose guns and muster total community participation to bear down on electoral violence," he added.

"The government will apply the full force of the law against all groups and individuals who are employing threat and intimidation to undermine suffrage and free choice," Bunye said.

Bunye, however, said that although "speedy criminal justice is the best means to show that we mean business, we must also modernize our democratic institutions and values, cut fraud and tone down the heat of power play at all levels."

He stressed that this latest form of violence to be committed during this electoral season brings to fore the importance of reforming the country's political culture.

"Our political stability must be as straight and steady as our economic stability," he said.

Bunye sympathized with the family of Rabaya and assured them of "a relentless manhunt for the perpetrators." (OPS) [top]

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