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Vigilante killings rise in CamSur

  • Written by Sonny Sales
  • Published in Provincial
  • Read: 163

IRIGA City -- Alleged vigilante gunmen killed another suspected drug suspect in Bgy. San Agustin, here, police reported yesterday.

The victim, Julio Magistrado Jr., 44, farmer, was shot dead by gunmen in front of his two children.

The mother of the victim, Milagros, told investigators of the Iriga City Police Station that his son, along with two children aged 5 and 11, was burning dried tree leaves and wood at their yard when the gunmen fired successive shots at the victim.
   
A PNP SOCO team, that processed the crime scene, recovered 17 spent shells for handguns of undetermined caliber at the crime scene.
   
San Agustin Barangay Captain Julio Colarina said Magistrado was included in the drug watchlist under “Oplan Tokhang” in the city.
   
Meanwhile, in Naga City, acting city police director Senior Supt. Julius Muñez had ordered an investigation into the so-called “Bicol Vigilantes”, whose group leaves a cardboard signed “Bicol Vigilantes” on at least four victims, three of whom were found in isolated areas of the city while one remained in critical condition in a city hospital.
   
City officials and conservative sectors said “they maybe criminals or drug dealers, but such brutal slaying have never occurred in this prevalently conservative community” with about a quarter of a million residents.
   
The most recent victims were Michael Lañada Reyes, 39, whose face was wrapped with packaging tape, both hands bound, with a gunshot wound in the back when found dumped in Sitio Salongugui, Bgy. Cara-rayan last July 23. Known companion of Reyes, suspected holdupper Arnel Bucacao, 27, was also found dead last July 24, dumped in St. James Subd., Concepcion Grande.
   
Naga City police spokesperson SPO2 Tobias Bongon said the “vigilante killings” are just riding on with the PNP stepped-up, anti-illegal drug campaign and the killings were perpetrated by drug syndicates to eliminate their own people.
   
A city councilor remarked that despite the series of extra-judicial killings, “no complaint has yet been filed with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) nor was there a strong public indignation on the killings,” he added.