FOR every drug lord, robber or any other criminal killed, Cebu City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña is willing to give the police P50,000 as a reward.
Osmeña, who formed a hunters’ team or crime suppression team during his previous terms as mayor, said he will leave it up to the police to form such a team this time around.
“Kung makaporma sila ug team mao na ilang extra livelihood (If they can form that team, it can be their extra source of livelihood),” said Osmeña, referring to the police.
In a separate press conference, outgoing Mayor Michael Rama cautioned against the plan and read an old editorial that discussed his stand against the hunters’ team when he was still Osmeña’s vice mayor.
“Vigilantism never goes well in a civil society that runs on the rule of law. We are also Roman Catholics. How can we adopt a double standard?” Rama said.
“How can that be a solution, when you’ll be spreading killers and killers will proliferate in the city?” the mayor added.
From December 2004 to August 2006, the police reported the deaths of 168 suspected or convicted criminals in Cebu City. Many had just been released from jail when they were shot, usually by men riding motorcycles. Only five of those cases were solved as of August 2006.
In a phone interview yesterday, Osmeña said he is willing to reward each police officer with P50,000 every time one kills a drug lord, robber or any criminal.
“I have a general message for the police: if you kill a drug lord in the line of duty, you get P50,000, basta (for as long as it’s) legal or in the line of duty,” Osmeña said.
While Rama opted not to comment at length on the matter, the mayor said he found it “pathetic” that Osmeña would help work for the release on bail of police officer Adonis Dumpit.
“It’s just pathetic and it would always leave a bad taste, having to be proud of a man who’s been known to being a part of an era when brains were scattered in the city,” he said.
Last Friday, the 20th Division of the Court of Appeals allowed Dumpit to post P250,000 as bail. Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 6 Judge Ester Veloso had convicted him of homicide, instead of the original murder charge, for shooting to death 17-year-old Ronron Go in 2004.
Dumpit also served as close-in bodyguard of Osmeña in his previous terms as mayor of the city.
Rama said it is up to the people to decide on the matter, particularly the poor. “Maybe you can ask the poor people, the victims and perhaps ask also the one who filed the case against him,” Rama said.