Escalation of violence

By Editorial |August 09,2018 - 09:58 PM

When a deputy official of operations of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is killed inside his vehicle in the middle of traffic in one of the busiest streets in Cebu City, can lower ranked agents feel safe?

About 13 days after PDEA official Baby Earl Rallos was shot down by still unidentified motorcycle riding assailants, another PDEA agent, this time senior PDEA agent Von Rian Tecson, was gunned down also inside his vehicle by motorcycle-riding assailants along the main highway in Carcar City on Wednesday, August 8.

The victim’s brother SPO1 Von Tecson claimed that a big time druglord may be behind the murder but as the public commiserates with the family’s loss two more unexplained murders
occurred also last Wednesday, giving Cebu based residents a lot of reason to worry about their safety.

Butch Rosales, a militant, was shot dead at the front seat of a jeepney by an unidentified assailant who casually walked out and boarded a motorcycle that sped off from the crime scene.

Yet another victim, Jaypee Carayo, sustained gunshot wounds that led to his death at a carnival in Mandaue City.

The two deaths may be unrelated to Tecson’s murder but they highlight the escalation of violence that had swept through Cebu since early February this year.

In Carayo’s case, police are looking into the possibility of illegal drug involvement as motive for the murder. One cannot dismiss the possibility that crime syndicates are stoking the flames of fear and distrust by executing law enforcers like Tecson who still managed to wound one of his assailants.

That said, the police have appeared all but helpless in stopping the incidence of shootings that now occur in broad daylight with the perpetrators usually masked and seemingly operating with abandon with no concern whatsoever of reprisal, let alone being arrested.

In order to shed light on these relentless killings, law enforcers need to unmask, identify and locate the masterminds behind these crimes.

The police repeatedly said it would do so and exhorted stakeholders to cooperate only for the public to see that some in their ranks have also shed blood not just of criminal suspects but those whose guilt had yet to be proven in a court of law.

Unfortunately, whether due to inadequate resources and personnel, a lack of cooperation from an already nervous community or lingering distrust caused by suspicions of involvement in these killings, the police had zero success in stopping what is now a culture of impunity in violence that looks to escalate even further.

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