CALBAYOG CITY- Despite the stern warning issued by the country’s number one police officer, shooting incidents in this city appears to continue. The latest shooting incident happened two days after Police Director General Ricardo Marquez visited Calbayog on December 28,2015 during which he announced that 88 Special Action Force (SAF) personnel would be deployed in the city to help its peace and order in the run up to this year’s election. The latest shooting incident happened in Barangay Carayman on Dec.30 which wounded one Jojo Taduyo who managed to survive the attempt on his life carried out by two armed men boarded on a motorcycle.
Last year, 23 people were killed due to the shooting incidents in Calbayog, some of them were believed to be politically-motivated. Motive of this latest shooting incidents has yet to be fully known by the city police but the political angle has been ruled out as the cause. Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, former mayor of Calbayog, earlier expressed his disappointment over the killing incidents in the city as others have prompted to call Calbayog as “killbayog.”
He vowed to end these killing incidents.
Samar has been identified as a concerned area related to this year’s election due to, primarily, presence of armed men said to be maintained by certain local politicians. In 2010, well-known PAGs groups existing in the city were “neutralized” by police authorities but some of their members were said to have been recruited by some politicians.
PNP said they have the list of some members of the group and they are now taking steps to neutralize their illegal activity. “Dismantling private armies is a necessary step to end election violence in Samar,” Marquez had said. “Failure to address private armies puts political opponents and ordinary civilians at continued risk from powerful local politicians. The police must be beyond the influence of politicians in their respective areas and need to enforce the full force of the law without fear or favor,” Marquez said. By JAZMIN BONIFACIO