Drug-related killings climb to 132 in Cebu

By Carmel Loise Matus |August 16,2016 - 10:05 PM

About 132 cases of drug-related killings occurred in Cebu as of August 9 this year, which the regional Commission on Human Rights (CHR-7) considered as an “overwhelming” number.

CHR-7 chief investigator Leo Villarino said they only have 10 investigators to handle these cases which were either summary executions committed by vigilantes or shootouts between drug suspects and the police.

“There is no hard and fast rule on investigating these cases,” Villarino said.

He said they also take time to carefully document the affidavits of witnesses to make the cases prosper and stand up in court.

But of this number, only 11 have complainants including from the mother of Medz Alvaro, brother of suspected drug lord Alvaro “Barok” Alvaro.

The younger Alvaro died in what police claimed was a shootout in a buy-bust operation in Danao City last week.

Villarino said the mother claimed that the police operation was an overkill.

Villarino said as of yesterday, Emma Alvaro has not returned to their office with witnesses as she promised.

He also said the police reports on the cases need follow-ups especially those involving vigilante killings.

He urged the PNP to exert extra effort in following up these cases.

“They should worry about those they cannot pursue. They should show that they have investigated these cases. They say there are no witnesses but it’s worse if we neglect pursuing these cases,” Villarino said.

He said vigilante killings are crimes that need to be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.

Villarino said the PNP should show to the public that they mean business by going after vigilantes.

In Central Visayas, Villarino said there were 147 cases of drug-related killings or arrests based on their monitoring of news reports.

Of that number, 132 cases occurred in Cebu, 10 were in Negros Oriental province and five were in Bohol.

Villarino said President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a “relentless, sustained” war on illegal drugs means they can expect these killings to rise in the coming months.

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