Taliño: ‘No to vigilantes’
Are vigilantes starting to operate in Cebu?
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), on Monday said he received a text message from a group who volunteered to help the police kill those into illegal drugs. The group didn’t identify themselves.
“They want to take the law into their own hands because they could no longer stand the presence of people who continue to peddle or use illegal drugs. But no. I won’t allow nor encourage summary executions because that’s against the law,” he told reporters.
“I told them to give me all the information about the persons who are still into drugs and we will let the police do their thing. Maintaining peace and order is the primary work of the police,” he added.
Taliño received the text message from what he considered a vigilante group last July 21.
Since then, at least three suspected drug users and a pusher were gunned down by unidentified persons in different areas in Cebu.
Two persons — Roldan Cuizon, 30, and Wilson Cuizon, 23, — were shot dead by unknown assailants while purportedly having a pot session in Barangay Buaya, Lapu-Lapu City last July 22.
On the same day, Bonie “Sadam” Ponce, an alleged drug pusher in Danao City, was gunned down by two unidentified men on board a motorcycle.
The victim was left dead with a written note that says “Pusher ako, wag ninyo tularan.” (I’m a pusher; don’t be like me.)
On Monday, Alex Reyes, an alleged drug user and robber in Barangay Punta Princesa, Cebu City, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman.
The latest suspected drug dealer to fall, Regino dela Cruz of Sitio Looban, Villagonzalo II, was shot down by police for carrying a firearm at D. Gaisano St., Barangay Tejero in Cebu City at 1:35 a.m. yesterday.
Taliño said he could not conclude whether or not these four individuals fell prey to vigilantes.
“All we can say is that these persons were linked to illegal drugs,” he said.
While policemen were given by President Rodrigo Duterte three to six months to address the spread of illegal drugs, Taliño said it should be done legally. He said vigilantism isn’t an option.
Since last July 22, just in a span of three days, police killed at least 10 suspected drug pushers in Central Visayas. Two others were wounded.
Taliño said PRO-7 recently received P300,000 from a private group that wanted to assist policemen in their campaign against illegal drugs.
He said he decided to offer the amount to police units that can kill suspected drug peddlers./With UP Cebu Intern Amy Macalinao
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