Bacolod police insulted by fatal shooting outside headquarters

Police surround the portion of the Metro Bacolod District Jail -Special Intensive Care Area (MBDJ-Sica) in Barangay Singcang-Airport in Bacolod City where a woman was shot dead Sunday. (Glazyl Y. Masculino Photo)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – It’s a big insult for us.

This was the reaction of Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Pico, public information officer of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), after the fatal shooting that happened outside their headquarters on Aug 18, 2019.

“They (criminals) are really challenging our authority,” Pico told Daily Guardian in a phone interview yesterday.

On Sunday afternoon, Crystal Faith Jastiva, 25, of Barangay Poblacion, Bago City, Negros Occidental, was gunned down by two motorcycle-riding assailants outside the Metro Bacolod District Jail (MBDJ)-male dormitory, few meters away from the gate of the BCPO headquarters in Barangay Singcang-Airport here.

Jastiva was leaving the jail after visiting her partner when she was shot. She succumbed to a lone gunshot wound on the head. The assailants, who were wearing helmets, fled towards Araneta street.

Pico said policemen deployed at the gate of the BCPO headquarters only responded when people outside shouted “may gintiro” (somebody was shot).

“The assigned police officers at the gate did not hear a burst of gunfire, and we are suspecting that the assailants used a suppressor so that no sound from the gun will be heard,” he added.

Pico said a dragnet operation was immediately conducted by police to intercept the suspects but lost the gunmen because of the swiftness of the event.

“We accept the fact that it happened outside the jail and the headquarters as well, but the area where the shooting happened is not anymore visible to the police officers posted at the gate,” Pico said.

After the incident, Pico said the BCPO is planning to propose to the city government the temporary suspension of the helmet law to prevent the modus of “riding-in-tandem” criminals. He cited the banning of helmets among motorcycle riders in the town of Pulupandan, Negros Occidental.

Pico said they would also again appeal for amendments to a city ordinance mandating the installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in villages to aid the police in crime prevention measures.

He said such proposals will be discussed during the City Peace and Order Council meeting soon.

Meanwhile, Pico said they already have “persons of interest” behind the killing of Jastiva, but they have no lead yet on the identities of the suspects.

Police believed that the incident might be drug-related because of her partner’s involvement in illegal drugs.

Pico said Jastiva’s mother was also jailed for the same offense at Bago City District Jail.

Police are also checking the victim’s background since she was using the name of Ashly Kate Gonzaga based on the Identification cards recovered from her.

The victim’s grandmother told the police that she started using such name when she left her home.