BACOLOD

Illegal drugs eyed in murder of woman in front of BJMP



THE Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) considered the involvement of a 25-year-old woman in illegal drugs as a possible motive in her killing in front of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Barangay Singcang-Airport, Bacolod City.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Pico, spokesperson of BCPO, said Monday, August 19, that they are eyeing Crystal Faith Jastiva's possible involvement in illegal drug trade, since she was visiting her live-in partner Kirby Andrada inside the BJMP, who was also arrested for possession of illegal drugs.

Currently, Jastiva's mother was also detained at Bago City Jail for the illegal possession of drugs.

Jastiva, who lives on Bonifacio Street, Purok Balunggay, Barangay Poblacion, Bago City, was shot dead by unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen in front of BJMP after she visited her live-in partner at 3:10 p.m. Saturday, August 17.

The perpetrators, who wore helmets and black t-shirts, fled toward Araneta Street. The victim sustained a lone gunshot wound in her head.

Pico said Jastiva was also using a fictitious name: "Ashly Kate Gonzaga."

"It's unusual to use a fictitious name if we do not have an illegal activity. For now, we are concentrating on this angle and we are still conducting further investigation to determine the identity of the suspects," he said.

The police already have persons of interests in the incident, but Pico refused to divulge further information.

He said the area has no closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, and they are coordinating with the business establishments along BCPO headquarters.

Pico said police officers assigned in the gate of BCPO headquarters failed to act immediately because they did not hear someone firing a gun in the area.

"There's a possibility that the suspects used a suppressor or 9mm pistol in the killing of the victim. The police only responded when someone shouted that a woman was shot in the area," he added.

Meanwhile, BCPO Director Police Colonel Henry Binas also directed all station commanders to intensify their visibility patrol and to conduct a checkpoint operation.

"It seems that the lawless elements were not afraid in committing the crime, even in our place. So, we must take a drastic action," Binas added.

He directed all station chiefs to conduct a 24/7 checkpoint operation within their areas of jurisdiction and to strictly inspect the motorcycle.

Pico said they will also propose to the City Council to temporarily suspend the Helmet Law in the city, adding that they faced difficulties in identifying the identities of the suspects in several crime incidents because most of them were using helmets.

He also said they will ask the City Council to require the barangay officials to put up a high definition CCTV within their areas of jurisdiction.

Pico noted that the areas of Bulacan and Mandaluyong also implemented the suspension of the helmet law to address the crime incidents in their areas.

"The lawless elements are taking advantage of this law to cover their identities in committing the crime," he said.


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