(UPDATED) Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III chastised police chief General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on the killing of Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro Councilor Melchor Arago and his son by unidentified gunmen last Tuesday.
"Where is the peace and order that [PNP Chief Ronald] Dela Rosa says the people are ungrateful for?," Pimentel said Thursday, Oct. 5.
Argao 52, was in his car, parked in front of his house, when two motorcycle-riding men approached and shot him. The gunmen also shot his 15-year-old son when they spotted him going out of the house.
"This is yet another murder by the now usual modus operandi of motorcycle-riding gunmen," Pimentel said, adding that a large number of unsolved killings in the country today is made worse by the fact that some of the victims are minors.
"You start wondering what the police is there for." he added.
Pimentel was referring to the recent outburst of the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, where he called critics of the drug war "ingrates".
The Senate President said that a large number of unsolved "deaths under investigation" is unacceptable.
"Criminals are being emboldened by what they see as the incompetence of the PNP in catching them," Pimentel said.
According to the PNP's own figures, there were 6,225 drug-related deaths between July 2016 and September 2017.
These deaths were broken down into 2,290 drug-related deaths or homicide cases under investigation, 3,850 deaths during police operations, and 85 police or military personnel killed in action.
The Senate leader emphasized that the police must have the proper training and tools to carry out President Duterte's campaign against drugs and criminality.
"The Filipino people deserve a modern, professional, and capable police force. Right now, the PNP is none of the above. We need to take radical action to change this state of affairs," he said.
Pimentel challenged the PNP to shape up.
The Senate President previously suggested having a Visiting Forces Agreement-style treaty with foreign police forces to help train the PNP.
Pimentel is the principal sponsor of the National Bureau of Investigation Reorganization and Modernization Act. (PS Jun M. Sarmiento/SunStar Philippines)