If the police cannot protect the citizens from wanton extrajudicial killings without definite track record of solution, then most citizens are clamoring to arm them-selves in order to protect their lives, and that of their families from wanton street killings done with impunity.
This was the popular clamor of Dumaguetenos after so many series of unsolved extra judicial killings the latest of which was that of Tinago Barangay Capt Harrison Gonzales who was gunned down by convoy of three motorcycle riding assasins past 9pm last Tuesday night in his own barangay.
Although residing in Piapi near its barangay hall, Gonzales won a seat in the Tinago barangay council where he used to live before . Later he became LIGA president. He was suspended or dismissed by the Ombudsman but reinstated upon appeal.
Gonzales was gunned down while on duty in his barangay monitoring its anti-Covid campaign and its antidrug operations. His style was to sit along wiith his kagawads along the road of Tinago at night which made it convenient for his assassins to execute the dastardly cowardly act, hitting un-armed men before stunned barangay folks.
Foto grabbed from facebook and internet showed the City CCTV footage how the gunman hit Gonalez with ease and impunity , foto shows GonZales about to slump upon impact of six slugs of 45 caliber on vaiorus parts of his body. He was dead on arrival at the hospital.
With him in foto is kagawad Jojie Canete who in the photo attempted to scamper away. The four suspects sped away into the darkness with not a single barangay tanod to make a hot pursuit.
“If all barangay officials and tanods are responsible gun-holders, they should already be armed while on duty. They will return their weapons after their duty hours an endorse the gun to the next reliever,” suggested one citizen.
In this manner, if all barangay officials and tanods are armed while on duty, it will be a big deterrent to crime, so long as they themselves are RESPONSIBLE GUN HOLDERS. If not then it will defeat the purpose.
Mayor Felipe Remollo condemned the dastasrdly and cowardly act . Remollo was urged to appoint the City Public Safety Officer who will focus on crime busting on a permanenet basis. It is now embodied in an ordinance.
This will make the investigations consistent and updated. Unlike today when investigations are usually delayed due to bureaucratic problems. Besides, the city and provincial police chiefs have been replaced on the same week
The problem with police investigations is that all police officers can be transferred anytime, even upon proddings of politicians. So that possible protectionism cannot be discounted.
On the part of the police, they do not have a medico legal officer nor a quarantine officer who usually takes care of these matter as the big issue of the week.
The police is undermanned by 44 personnel. Augmentation is necessary.
Mayor Remollo told the Chronicle to be vigilant on their rights to police protection. He said it is time to review the capabilities of the police. We have anew police director in Lt Col Banzon, son of the former PD Col Pepito Banon who was assigned here before.
Mayor Remollo said that the new city police OIC chief is Lt Col Mark Gifter Sucalit who is now on compulsory quarantine having arrived from Covid infested Cebu.
How can investigations of all unsolved extrajudicial killings have continuity when there is a constant replacement of personnel? they asked.
The lament of citizens is that the chief COP IS NEW,, he does not know the terrain. A barangay captain of the city has just been murdered so how can he formulate a theory of the incident when Sucalit does not NOT even know his own men as of yet!
Stricter check points and social distancing is enforced.
There is the proposal to make the tricycle wear masks with priority on effectively securing their passengers from possible Covid contamination, by making a divide on the side car so two passengers can ride.
Reports say Gonzales was a drug buster but he did not testify on drug busts and hearings they don’t know why, despite the invitations of PDEA.
He also got entangled with some city hall officials on his unliquidated expenses which led to his ouster by the ombudsman and reinstated later upon appeal.
He was also in the midst of the SAP distribution where there were some complaints of possible mis-distirubtion of SAP and or food items. This is not confirmed.
His remains now lie in state at his Piapi residence although many would have wanted is wake in Tinago whom he led as barangay captain. Interment will be announced later. (with Ryan Sorote and city information office)