Commission on Elections (Comelec) employees condemned the murder of an election officer in a Batangas town Monday, saying the killing highlights the culture of impunity prevailing in the country.
The Comelec Employees Union (EU) in a statement said it condemns in no uncertain terms the brutal killing of Mabini, Batangas election officer Noel Miralles who was gunned down by two still unknown assailants in Bauan town.
Miralles, 53, was about to board a tricycle in Barangay 4, Poblacion in Bauan when shot by “riding in tandem” assailants, killing him on the spot.
Comelec-EU president Mac Ramirez said the victim was a cheerful person who loved karaoke.
“I could not imagine Noel having enemies,” Ramirez said.
A former journalism colleague said the victim previously worked as a writer with the Philippine Information Agency and as a broadcaster with defunct Batangas City radio stations Radio DZBR and DWAM AM in the 1990s before joining the poll body as election officer.
“[He was] humble, unassuming, kind. I can’t even imagine why he should be killed, unless work related in Comelec, especially Bauan and Mabini areas,” Miralle’s friend and colleague Nomer “Bong” Macalalad told Kodao.
Macalalad said he hopes Miralles’s murder will be an exemption to the “notorious” string of unsolved murders in Bauan for the past 18 years.
Another source told Kodao that Miralles handled several electoral fraud cases when he served as election officer of Bauan.
Bauan has been ruled by the Dolor dynasty led by its patriarch Ryan for decades.
Municipal officials of Bauan have yet to issue a statement on Miralles’ killing.
Comelec-EU said the killing of Miralles highlights the prevailing culture of impunity in the country.
Comelec-EU noted that Miralles’s murder came at the heels of the killing of Office of the Ombudsman assistant special prosecutor Madonna Joy Tanyag in Quezon City and Fr. Richmond Villafor in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija.
“The killings must stop. The culture of impunity in the country must end. We demand no less than justice,” the group said.
Election officers and employees nationwide will wear black tomorrow, June 13, to call for justice for Miralles as well as all other victims of senseless killings in the country, Comelec-EU said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)