Summary killings a 'challenge' to Oro police

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Saturday, February 22, 2014


THE regional police office in Northern Mindanao said the spate of unresolved summary killings since 2012 is the biggest challenge of the police in Cagayan de Oro City.

Chief Superintendent Lyndel Desquitado of the Deputy Regional Director for Administration, Police Regional Office 10, said the summary execution in the city has been the city police force’s challenge considering that most of the cases have remained unresolved with some of the victims buried unidentified.

Reports said there are about 28 cases of summary executions in Cagayan de Oro from 2012 up to present. Most of the victims had criminal records.

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When asked if vigilantes are involved in the killings, Desquitado said: “If they (vigilantes) really exist, they are still criminals, and our officers are on top of these (incidents). We consider them (vigilantes) as suspects. It is (now) a challenge for police officers in Cagayan de Oro, gihatag nato ni nga challenge sa city director to really find out of about these continuous killings… sa inyong gi-mention (salvaging).”

The police, he said, are not giving up on their investigations to really solve or put an end to such crimes.

“We are aware of that killings lately. Even ang atong city director (Police Senior Superintendent Graciano Mijares) failed to attend to their alumni homecoming last week because of such urgency. Talagang tinutukan natin ito,” Desquitado added.

Desquitado denied claims that once a summarily executed person had criminal records or tattoos on their bodies, their cases are automatically closed.

“It’s not true nga kung dunay patik close na dayon. For every crime, we always make it a point that there is an officer on case for that matter. (There is always) an investigator handling the case, aron kung dunay pangutana about sa investigation, siya ang makatubag. Siya ang motutok. Pero kung high profile crime, dunay special intelligence task group (to be created). But there is no case nga makita dunay patik… every life is precious like any high profile crimes nga nanghitabo,” he explained.

Identification instrument

Most cases unsolved are factored on delayed identification of the victims. Desquitado said an instrument or equipment for DNA identification is in the list of the police’s wishes.

“Usa sa atong wish list ang DNA identification… paingon pa ta ana sa atong programa. How we wish nga for every victim nga matumba, we can immediately identify them. But as of this time, we have no instrument… nag-struggle pata ana nga bahin. We solely depend on the identification through niadtong nakaila,” he said.

Amid the shortcomings in the police office, Desquitado recognized the efficiency of the identification process of crime suspects at the Regional Police Crime Laboratory.

He cited that three cases in the region were solved last year because the identification of the suspects through ballistic examinations was accurate. The suspects were all charged in courts.

However, Police Superintendent Michael Pareja, PRO-10 spokesperson, clarified that the crime laboratory could only examine the ballistics when the certain firearms are legally acquired.

“(Because) sa pagpalit pa lang giagi nasa ballistics examination before its release to the buyer-owner. Pero kung wala miagi sa ballistic examinations ang firearms used in summary killings, start to zero ta (on the investigations),” he explained.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 22, 2014.

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