THERE was this neophyte radio reporter who went to various police stations to gather news from the blotter. He visited first Fuente Police Station where he read in the blotter an entry: “‘Unknown suspect’ held up a passenger jeepney in the uptown area.” He then proceeded to the Waterfront Police Station and read an entry on its blotter: “‘Unknown’ suspect’ held up a woman who just disembarked from a boat at the pier area.” Then he went to the Carbon Police Station and again read an entry on its blotter: “‘Unknown suspect’ held up a fish vendor.”
Intrigued by the “unknown suspect,” the reporter asked the desk officer on duty; Sir, kini si “Unknown” ba, notorious na gyud ni kaayo siya no? Didto ko sa Fuente police, siya maoy suspect sa pagpanulis sa jeep. Didto ko sa Waterfront, siya gihapon maoy suspect sa paghold up sa pasahero sa barko. Unya karon, siya na pod suspect sa tulis sa lab-asera. Idlas gyud kaayo ni siya, Sir, kay wala pa man ninyo madakpi.’
And the policeman answered; ‘Dong, uli didto sa inyong radio station ug adto lang pangutana sa imong station manager.” Now, we still hear about “Unknown” in holdup cases. He has never been arrested or jailed or fallen victim to extrajudicial killing.
Aside from “Unknown,” here is another notorious criminal and a wanted person. He is “Riding N. Tandem,” who is believed to be responsible for the spate of killings in Metro Cebu area. (His middle initial “N” does not stand for Nalzaro ha). Almost all the killings happening here have been perpetrated by this guy “Riding N. Tandem.” He was responsible for the killing of Ronda Vice Mayor Jonnah John Ungab; former Agus, Lapu-Lapu City Barangay Captain and suspected drug lord Remigio “Bo” Oyao; and many other personalities most of whom were linked to the illegal drug trade.
Last Thursday night, “Riding N. Tandem,” struck anew killing three persons, including a newly released inmate also believed to be into illegal drugs in Lapu-Lapu City. He wore a bonnet and a helmet and fled the crime scene in a motorcycle.
Seriously, the spate of killings in Metro Cebu has alarmed our local officials and the business community. Most of these killings took place in the Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu areas, and were perpetrated by motorcycle-riding gunmen wearing face masks and bonnets. Most, if not all, of the cases remain unsolved because no witness has surfaced. This triggered the passage of an ordinance in Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu prohibiting motorcycle riders to wear face masks and bonnets.
Local officials urged authorities to immediately solve these killings as these will paint a bad picture and might affect the peace and order situation in our locality. However, the police downplayed public apprehensions brought about by these incidents, saying that the situation is manageable. Since most of the victims were involved in illegal drugs, the police attributed the killings to infighting. Meaning, these people who are in the illegal drug trade are killing each other because of their own shenanigans.
Street pushers are killed for failing to remit their sales to drug lords, who hire killer to liquidate them. It’s good if they are really killing each other, but I suspect that aside from “infighting,” there is a group involved in this activity, especially in Lapu-Lapu. Is a vigilante group silently operating there to weed out the city’s drug problem? And is the group composed of government agents? Just asking?
Why? Because the pattern and nature of the killings are somewhat similar. Most of the victims were drug personalities, either active or surrenderers. In February and early March alone, almost 20 persons were killed in Lapu-Lapu. Don’t tell me that all these killings were results of infighting? Nagduda gyud ko nga government-initiated gyud ni.
In early 2000, a vigilante group, believed to be composed of government agents with the backing of the powers that be, operated in Cebu City, killing more than a hundred criminal elements. The group “terrified” underworld characters but crime was still rampant during that time and is still now.