‘Nothing to worry about,’ Labella assures public

DESPITE the series of killings reported in Cebu City this week, the city is still “generally safe.”

So said Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) officer-in-charge Police Colonel Engelbert Soriano in an interview on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, after the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) meeting.

Soriano said the killings are not connected to each other and the recent reported case which happened on Thursday night, Feb. 13, near the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu was about a personal grudge.

“I still stand by my claim that Cebu City is safe more than ever,” assured Soriano.

Mayor Edgardo Labella said the only major problem the City is facing now is the presence of the illegal drugs.

Labella said he trusts Soriano and already gave him the responsibility for solving the problem.

Labella, who chaired the CPOC meeting, said they discussed terrorism, and he assured that residents in Cebu City “have nothing to worry about.”

“There is nothing to worry about, but let’s just be vigilant,” he said.

“The city is generally peaceful, but is not safe for those who are involved in criminal activities,” he added.

On Feb. 11, Police Master Sergeant Maximo Macua Jr., a member of the Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG), died in an anti-illegal drug operation in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.

On the same day, at around 11 p.m., the PDEG conducted a follow-up operation at Barangay Quiot where a certain Ronald Salgarino and an alias Joe, who were alleged drug pushers, were killed.

Also on Thursday, Feb. 13, aside from the man stabbed near the Basilica, a taho vendor in Barangay Cogon Pardo was killed in a shooting incident.

In another incident, a man was stabbed to death by his fellow dispatcher Thursday night, Feb. 13, in Barangay Sto. Niño, Cebu City.

Case investigator Pcpl. Marlito Portugeza identified the victim as a certain Erwin “Tagalog,” a street dweller.

Investigation showed that Erwin and fellow dispatcher Carlito Baro, 35, got into a heated argument, which led to the latter stabbing the former in the neck.

Portugeza said it was Carlito’s younger brother Gilbert, who had identified him as the suspect in the crime.

“I asked him why he stabbed Erwin when he never did him wrong. He just left immediately,” Gilbert said in Cebuano.

The police are conducting follow-up operations against Baro. They are also conducting further investigation on the incident. (JJL, BBT, RTF)


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