PDEA: Summary killings ‘drugs-related’-A A +A
Friday, October 4, 2013
THE series of summary executions in Cagayan de Oro City could be linked to the proliferation of the illegal drugs trade in Northern Mindanao, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Northern Mindanao region said Thursday.
From January to October this year, around 20 suspected members of the Batang Mindanao (BM 29) and Batman 357 gangs were summarily executed in the city.
PDEA-Northern Mindanao public information officer Rosemary Bajao said although PDEA cannot be conclusive that all of the killings were due to illegal drugs deal and she added saying “but from plain view the undeniable cause is drugs.”
She added most of the crimes in the city involved illegal drugs and its related activities.
“Naay times nga ang (illegal drugs) pusher dili makabayad sa iyang gikumpra (There are instances wherein the pusher failed to pay the drugs he or she ordered),” said Bajao, citing the reason why illegal drugs-related activities are linked to the summary executions.
Bajao said during their drug-bust operations they had arrested family members and individuals.
“Sa among operations mga pamilya among gakadakpan (In our operations we have arrested families),” she said.
She said it is possible that the killings happened due to the conflicts of family members that are competing in selling illegal drugs.
“Mga pamilya man ang gabaligya og drugs kay mao mana ilang pamugas, so possible nga sila pud ang nag-conflict nga miresulta sa pagpatay (There are families who sell drugs for their livelihood, and it is possible that these families are in conflict with one another leading to killings),” said Red.
Bajao said there are drug cartels in the city, but PDEA is unsure if it is behind the summary executions.
“Sobra na pud millions ang drugs nga among na-confiscate diri sa city (We have confiscated over a million worth of drugs this year),” she said.
She added the PDEA is serious in its campaign against illegal drugs.
“We are giving heavy stress on our demand reduction campaign because we don’t want to do arrests that would put their families in shame,” said Bajao.
Reduction campaign is focused on giving information to the community about the long-term negative impacts of drugs, while supply reduction campaign is the process of making arrests to cut off the supply.
Bajao said they are scheduling meetings and consultations with other law enforcement agencies to discuss the summary killings in the city.
“Jail them all, instead of jail the pusher and save the user,” she said referring to the new principle of the drug enforcement agency.
Cagayan de Oro police chief Graciano Mijares denied any vigilante group in the city and claimed the killings could be related to the campaign against illegal drugs.
The church and civil society groups have urged the city government and the law enforcement agencies to do something with the killings to uphold right to life.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 04, 2013.