Public safety committee urged to act on summary killings-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
COUNCILOR Roger Abaday urged on Monday the City Council’s committee on police, fire, and public safety to act on the series of suspected summary killings in Cagayan de Oro City in the past few months.
Abaday noted that since January to September this year, close to 20 people were killed through summary executions, most of them believed to be members of the dreaded Batang Mindanao 29 (BM 29) gang.
He said the committee, chaired by Councilor Ramon Tabor, must coordinate with the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) and other law enforcement agencies to investigate these crimes as they involved ex-convicts who just got out of jail as victims.
Abaday, a dean of Criminology in one of the city’s colleges, said he personally talked with the leaders of BM 29 inside the city jail in Barangay Lumbia who told him some of the gang members targeted underwent values formation while in incarceration.
“Gakahadlok lagi daw sila nga sa ilang paggawas, ayha dayon sila birahan. Imbis nga miagi na sila ug values formation, ayha pa hinuon sila pamatyon (They are scared to get out of prison fearing they could be killed. They have already gone through values formation, and then they’re executed),” Abaday told reporters in an interview.
He said some of gang’s members are now active in church activities and a few of them are now even pastors.
“Ang ilang gusto nga magbag-o man sa ilang paggawas. Gusto lang nila nga duna silay kapangitaan sa dihang mahuman sa ilang serbisyo sa sulod (All they wanted is to change when they get out. To find a livelihood after they have served inside),” he added.
Abaday said BM 29 leaders inside the Lumbia jail even asked Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno for assistance to those members who just served their sentence for protection and livelihood programs.
Cocpo chief Graciano Mijares has already denied the existence of groups or ‘death squads’ in the city who executed the alleged summary killings.
Mijares said the killings could be linked to the illegal drugs trade as most of the victims were reported to have connections with the drug syndicates in the region.
He said most of the killed victims were shot on the head and on different parts of their body.
The latest victim, Abaday said, was a member of BM 29 who was found bathed in his own blood at a grassy area in Sitio Tibasak in Barangay Macasandig.
The victim has yet to be identified who sustained several gunshot wounds in the head, face and body.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 02, 2013.