Dela Rosa orders Caloocan police chief to solve killings
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - April 4, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa yesterday ordered the new police chief of Caloocan to hunt down a group of vigilantes supposedly responsible for the killings of drug suspects in the city.

Dela Rosa directed Senior Superintendent Restituto Arcangel to resolve the killings perpetrated by unidentified assailants.

“His mission is to hunt the people behind these shootings, which are attributed to the police,” Dela Rosa told reporters.

Arcangel replaced Senior Superintendent Jemar Modequillo, who was relieved last week after a six-month stint for his failure to solve the spate of drug-related shootings in the city.

The PNP chief said a group of vigilantes was involved in the killings of suspected criminals in the city.

Dela Rosa said these people should be arrested to avoid perceptions that the killings were done or authorized by police.

He lauded Arcangel for his measures such as the establishment of  checkpoints in the city to deter criminals.

According to Dela Rosa, drastic moves are needed to convince the public that vigilante killings were not committed by police.

“It hurts if we are accused of something that we have not done,” he said. “What we want to happen is to stop these killings.”

Arcangel said they have no evidence that vigilantes operate in the city.

“But our assessment indicates that these are possible. Drug rings have zero tolerance for delays in payment (of drug money). So they kill drug pushers when they fail to remit,” he said.

He cited the killing of suspected drug pusher Arnold Fernandez in Bagong Barrio by motorcycle-riding gunmen on March 12.

Arcangel said he would propose increasing the number of police precincts in the city from seven to 12.

Since January this year, 51 shootings have been reported in Caloocan. Of the number, 30 cases were perpetrated by assailants on motorcycles.

Caloocan became known as a “killing field” following the deaths of teenagers Kian delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman in drug operations last year. – With Marc Jayson Cayabyab

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