Lawmaker seeks help for Lirazan family

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Monday, December 23, 2013

BACOLOD City Representative Evelio Leonardia sought assistance from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for the Lirazan family, whose members were among those killed and wounded by stray bullets in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 shooting Friday, in their hospitalization expenses.

Leonardia said he was assured by the PCSO general manager and assistant manager that Lirazans will be given special treatment.

The Lirazan family members, who came from Bacolod, were waiting for another family member to fetch them outside the NAIA 3 arrival area when men onboard a motorcycle gunned down Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur Mayor Ukol Talumpa and his wife as they stepped out of Terminal 3.

Phil Thomas Lirazan-Estuesta, the 18-month-old baby of Marie Ann Lirazan, was killed immediately when a bullet hit him on the head. Marie Ann was wounded on the hand while her mother Amalia Lirazan was hit on the back.

Her three-year-old niece Diane Lirazan-Uy was also injured on the head. The three are being treated at East Avenue Medical Hospital in Quezon City.

The bodies of Ukol, his wife Lea and his nephew Salipudin Talumpa were buried in a traditional Islamic rite funeral around 11 a.m. Saturday in Labangan.

Leonardia said he will make sure that as soon as the PCSO office opens today they will submit all the requirements.

He added that he will also call the attention of Representative Cesar Sarmiento, chairman of the House committee on transportation; because he thinks the security protocol in airports should be reviewed.

“Airport is public. An airport is crowded. So it means that even if you are an ordinary citizen, you are at risk when you are in the airport. I will pursue this because I have received initial information that the airport has no closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras,” Leonardia said.

He added, “I cannot believe that because at a time like this, a CCTV is almost indispensable in public areas like that, so there should be one installed. This should be a standard operating procedure."

Leonardia also condemned the murder.

“It can never be justified and the worst part of it is that innocent persons were involved. I understand this is the third attempt on the life of Mayor Talumpa,” the lawmaker said.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on December 23, 2013.

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