By: Jennifer P. Rendon
BOLD. DARING. FEARLESS.
These words best describe the recent killings of alleged drug personalities by motorcycle-riding suspects (MRS).
These audacious killings are usually done in broad daylight and in plain view of the public.
But brazen as they are, these killings should not be misconstrued as sanctioned by the PNP or any other government agency.
Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, Western Visayas police chief, said there’s no report pointing to any vigilante group or PNP-sanctioned killers in the region.
“I can’t speculate on that. There could be a number of reasons why these victims are killed,” Pamuspusan said.
Since most of the victims are suspected drug personalities, Pamuspusan said “turf war between the people involved in the (drug) trade could be the most probable reasons.”
“There could be lots of motives. As to the alleged group na pumasok sa Iloilo City to carry out the killings, walang ganun. If you have noticed, we are shifting our concentration on drug clearing operations,” he said.
Pamuspusan also assured that all MRS killings are being investigated.
In Iloilo City, two drug personalities were killed in less than 24 hours.
The first of the two recent killings happened 8:00 in the evening of Aug. 16, 2019 at Barangay Taft North, Mandurriao district.
Mark Muller, 38, a call center agent residing at Cuartero village, Jaro, was repeatedly shot by MRS. He was listed on the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) as a drug user.
While he surrendered through Oplan Tokhang, Muller did not undergo the community-based drug rehabilitation program.
But village officials noted that Muller has no record of any wrongdoing in the barangay.
At 3 p.m. on Aug 17, riding-in-tandem gunmen also killed Robert Isubal, 43, of Barangay East Tomasa, Molo, Iloilo City.
Isubal, with his wife and siblings, were standing at their talaba (oyster) stall when a man wearing a black helmet approached and repeatedly shot him.
Isubal was released from jail three days before he was shot dead.
In 2016, Isubal was arrested in a drug buy-bust operation at the Iloilo Terminal Market in City Proper district, Iloilo City.
He was released after a plea bargaining agreement.
On Sunday, a woman was gunned down by two unidentified men on a motorcycle outside the Metro Bacolod District Jail -Special Intensive Care Area (MBDJ-Sica) after she visited her partner at the jail along Magsaysay Avenue, Barangay Singcang-Airport here Sunday.
Killed was Cristal Faith Jastiva, 24, a native of Bago City, but temporarily staying in a boarding house at Helvetia Heights here.
The victim, who also used the name of Ashly Kate Gonzaga based on the Identification cards recovered from her possession, visited her partner Kirby Andrada in jail when the incident happened.
While she was waiting for a pedicab around 3:10 p.m., the assailants arrived, shot her at close range then fled.
BEAT PATROL SYSTEM
As the number of MRS killings rise, Pamuspusan instructed field commanders to strengthen the police beat patrol system.
“Our policemen should establish their presence in strategic areas,” he said.
Pamuspusan said that commanders should utilize the beat patrol system as a toll to manage the crime situation in their area.
“They should use that based on the appreciation kung saan sya dapat i-deploy. They should come up with an assessment on their deployment,” he said.