NEWS: PSSupt Bianzon downplays “death squad” but looks on “hired killers”

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Lagunzad’s HR committee probes on rise of killings in city

Rise of shootings, death threats reported to police

Civilians’ massive support vs. criminality called on

Mayor Uy: “killings no cause for alarm”

Davao del Norte police director Benilito Bianzon has called on

Tagum city chief PSupt. Dario Gunabe, Davao del Norte PNP provincial director PSSupt. Benilito Bianzon, Boardmembers Salvador Royo, Ely Dacalus, Antonio Lagunzad (center), and (from left) CIDG-Davao del Norte PSupt. Rowena Garma, and other police officials

Attending the SP human rights committee hearing-inquiry Friday at Lakan’s Place restobar are (from right): Tagum city chief PSupt. Dario Gunabe, Davao del Norte PNP provincial director PSSupt. Benilito Bianzon, Boardmembers Salvador Royo, Ely Dacalus, Antonio Lagunzad (center), and (from left) CIDG-Davao del Norte PSupt. Rowena Garma, and other police officials (Rural Urban News photo)

support of civilians in the fight against rising criminality even as he downplayed reports on the presence of death squad operating in the city.

But he admitted the police is looking into reports on “hired killers” that has put Boardmember Antonio Lagunzad into saying that from reports that reached him they go for a kill at a lowly fee of only P3,000.

With that amount, Lagunzad said “pwede na… seguro sa hirap ng panahon. Lalo na kung ang papatayin ay may record na o kalalabas lang ng kulungan”.

The posh Lakan’s Place stands as a proud venue of the SP’s human rights committee hearing-inquiry on the reported rise of killings in the city last Friday. It is located along the national highway. some 3 kms away going south from the heart of the city.

The posh Lakan’s Place stands as a proud venue of the SP’s human rights committee hearing-inquiry on the reported rise of killings in the city last Friday. It is located along the national highway. some 3 kms away going south from the heart of the city. (Rural Urban News photo)

But Boardmember Lagunzad said “di pwede yan, human rights (violation) yan”. during Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s human rights committee hearing-inquiry on the reported rise of killings in Tagum City Friday morning at Lakan’s Place restobar.

He added that the provincial officials are watching developments and seeing many angles in the rise of criminality index which the police admitted to be occurring and wanted to stem down particularly in shooting incidents in the city.

As this developed, Mayor Rey Chiong Uy in a report of DXDN Radyo Ukay in Tagum Monday morning said that the the city’s statistics on killings reported by the police “is no cause of alarm” adding that that those who were killed were bad elements in the society, “mga kawatan, holdupper, snatcher, akyat bahay… so walay dapat ikaalarma.”

He said that the city in fact banks on its good peace and order situation in receiving continuing confidence from people for its continuing development.

In the same Radyo Ukay report, Vice Mayor Allan Rellon condemned extrajudicial killings in the city saying that the “root cause of the problem” should be addressed to in an effort of helping the police solve it.

On the hearing attended by boardmembers who are members of the SP committees on human rights and on peace and order and police and intelligence officers, police provincial director PSSupt. Bianzon bared that from January to October 10, the city has 54 shooting incidents including the still unresolved slaying of long-time serving former Mankilam barangay captain and kagawad Noel dela Cruz.

Dela Cruz, who was back riding on motorcycle, was waylaid morning the other Sunday at Mankilam and was shot to death by still unknown motorcycle-riding gunmen. Dela Cruz driver Albert Abule was left unharmed. As of Friday, the police was facing a blankwall on the suspects and the motive of the killing.

“About 5 percent of the shooting incidents is drug-related,” Bianzon said.

The Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos), on the other hand, has only two shooting incidents.

“There is also increasing death threats,” Bianzon said, for which he said the police has been meeting difficulties in responding to all requests for protection considering the limited number of police personnel..

He said that the incapacity of the police is seen in the high ratio of 1 policeman is to 1,373 persons to protect in  the city.

He added that considering this high number of civilians to protect, while the “police has been on 24-hour duty and is doing its best”, chances are still “malulusutan pa rin kami even our checkpoints,” he added. “Give me one battalion of policemen and I’ll assure you for no crime.”

The city police is beefed up by support and mobile units such as reaction forces and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Biazon then called for massive civilians’ support to fight criminality in counterpart to the heightened police visibility that they have been putting up. “The PNP cannot stand alone without the help of the people. The PNP cannot effectively battle criminality without help.”

He said that if the police is given reliable information by the public “on the go agad kami” citing what they had accomplished when they were tipped off on the case where the kidnap and murder suspect fled to Samar from the city and they arrested the suspect there and resolved the case.

The police nonetheless solved 23 crimes against persons from January to September and solved a lot of petty crimes like stabbing, hacking and others and recovered many loose firearms in their Operation Kapkap, the police director bared.

But he said it is in crime against persons where the police finds difficulties in solving, largely owing to lack of witnesses from the public.

Tagum City police chief Dario Gunabe said that “there is a big problem on how the public react” to shooting incidents where witnesses shy out from giving statements to the police like the description of the suspect compared to petty crimes such as robbery and thief where people themselves volunteered to give information or even pursued suspects.

“The police should not be blamed and charged to be doing nothing. The people have the shared obligation to help the police such as when they see crimes happened, they have to give statement to the police,” Gunabe added.

PSSupt. Biazon also cited various causes and motives in the rise of shooting incidents in the city.

He named these as drug-related, involving persons with criminal instincts “na di makatulog kung di makapatay”, cases of killed persons with criminal records such as drug pushers and users, “na meron dyan na kalalabas pa lang pinapatay”, bungling and double-crosses within criminal syndicates, and a host other factors due to conflicts such as relating properties and land, “nag-aawayan sa lupa”.

SP’s peace and order committee chairman Boardmember Jose Recarido Federiso called for support to the full activation of 4,000 barangay tanods in the province.

As to the arming of the barangay tanods, there is however financial and legal constraints to it, police authorities said.

Bianzon also called on public to immediately report police crime occurrences using the advantage of cellphone technology as he had earlier directed all his police chiefs in the province to post in public their hotline cellphone numbers.

Boardmember Lagunzad said that his committee probe would continue and that they would also conduct seminars with barangay officials on this.

Also present during the committee hearing-inquiry were Boardmembers Ely Dacalus, Artemio San Juan, Salvador Royo, and SK federation president Dennis Café, and CIDG-Davao del Norte Police Supt. Rowena Garma. Some family members of the slain Dela Cruz were also present. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News) http://ruralurbanews.blogspot.com

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