Houses of 2 barangay captains strafed
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, Mae Clydyl L. Avila (The Freeman) - April 5, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The houses of two barangay captains allied with the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) were strafed yesterday dawn by groups of armed men in the mountain barangays of Sudlon II and Sinsin in Cebu City.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña believes that the incidents were politically motivated and has ordered the Cebu City Police Office to solve the two cases within 10 days. He said failure to comply with the ultimatum would mean losing their monthly allowance from the city government.

At around 1:17 a.m. yesterday, five heavily armed persons allegedly wearing bonnets fired at the residence of Sudlon II Barangay Captain Pricillo Albores. The village chief and his family were unharmed.

Crime scene investigators recovered 14 empty shells for M16 rifle, three empty shells and two slugs for caliber .45 pistol. 

Three minutes later in the nearby Barangay Sinsin, located 7.3 kilometers from Sudlon II, a group of four armed men also peppered the house of Barangay Captain Aurelio Laspuña with bullets.

Laspuña and his family were able to escape unharmed. Police recovered four empty shells for 9mm rounds at the crime scene.

Pardo Police Station chief Major Regino Maramag, Jr. said they are still conducting investigation to determine the motive behind the incidents. Maramag said he is waiting for the two barangay captains to cooperate in the investigation.

Ultimatum

Osmeña immediately visited yesterday the two barangay captains to find out their situations. The mayor ordered CCPO director Colonel Royina Garma to solve the strafing incidents within 10 days.

Osmeña threatened to cut off their P2,500 monthly allowance from the city government if they fail. The mayor believes that the incidents were politically motivated.

 “Every indication is consistent with other circumstances that it is politically motivated. I’m giving Colonel Garma ten days to solve this and if it’s not solved within 10 days, I will accuse the police of being behind this and I will suspend all the allowances of the police assigned in the mountain barangays,” Osmeña told reporters.

According to the mayor, the motive was clearly to intimidate his allies in the mountain barangays.

“Because if they (police) cannot find them (suspects),  that means the police are the suspects themselves just like the shooting (of Barangay Tejero councilman Jessielou) Cadungog… You know, I’ve always respected President Duterte. He’s tough on crime but never in the 30 years that I’ve known him, has he used the police for politics,” he said.

“This is what’s happening in Cebu. It’s very clear that the police is being used for politics,” he added.

Reward

Osmeña said he will give the police the benefit of the doubt by giving them the chance to solve the two strafing incidents. The mayor said he is giving P100,000 reward to solve the two cases.

“I will accuse the police of being clearly behind this. If they want to save themselves, I will put P100,000 reward to solve this crime,” Osmeña said.

“Childish”

Garma described the ultimatum and the statements of the mayor as “childish.”

She urged the two barangay captains to cooperate with the investigators by giving them vital information that would help them establish the possible motives.

“The best thing to do is to encourage the barangay captains to cooperate with the police tell everything to the police sino ang kaaway nila? Yan yung the best thing makatulong pa, at least makakuha kami ng lead,” Garma said.

The city police director said that blaming the police of what happened is not the proper thing to do.

“It’s a childish way of solving something,” Garma said.

Garma denied that the police are receiving monthly allowance from the city government.

“The problem with these people is that they keep telling that they will pull out any support, etcetera. Would you believe that according to our people, since I assumed wala namang allowance natatanggap ang police namin and the support we’re receiving is gasoline,” Garma said.

Comelec Control

With what happened yesterday, Osmeña is planning to ask the Commission on Elections to place the city under Comelec control in the May 13 elections. The mayor admitted that he is already skeptical that the coming elections would still be peaceful.

He said the city is no longer safe with all the series of killings and the death of his close aide, the late SPO1 Adonis Dumpit, who was killed in a joint police and NBI anti-drug operation in Bohol.

Osmeña said he will document all the crime incidents in the city and submit a report to the president. He described Garma to be the “worst police chief” of the city.

“This is the worst police chief I’ve seen in 30 years,” Osmeña said.

 “You know, Garma is untouchable. She is untouchable not even the chief PNP can touch her,” he added.

Osmeña said he already instructed all barangay captains allied with him not to sacrifice themselves because they believed in him.

“If there’s going to be a casualty, I want to be the first casualty. Don’t kill my people. Don’t kill Cebu. I want to be the first one. I’m not going to back down from this,” he said, saying he is worried for his allies.  FPL (FREEMAN)

BANDO OSMEñA PUNDOK KAUSWAGAN
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