Wed. Dec 8th, 2021

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has ordered a thorough investigation into the recent killings of barangay (village) chiefs committed in some provinces.

(Photo Courtesy: Rappler)

This, after Carlito Pacayra, chairman of Barangay Canlobo in Pinabacdao, Samar, was gunned down while he was resting in a hammock on Nov. 4 and chairman Zoilo de Belen of Barangay Zoilo de Belen in Jaen, Nueva Ecija was also shot dead while watering his plants the following day.

“I have also directed the Regional Directors of PRO-3 (Police Regional Office) and PRO-8 to prioritize these two cases and hold accountable all those responsible in order to send a strong message that the PNP will not allow these brazen killings,” Eleazar said in a statement on Saturday.

“The assurance that those who perpetrated these crimes will be punished is itself, a heighten security measures to prevent these from happening in the future especially on the days leading to the May 2022 elections,” he added.

Eleazar condoled with the families of the victims as he also denounced these senseless killings against barangay officials.

He also ordered local police units to heighten security measures to prevent this from happening again.

Eleazar said all angles would be checked to establish the real motive of the slays.

To deter these crimes, he also ordered police chiefs and unit commanders to assess if there is a need to adjust their security measures to ensure the security and protection of the communities.

“I am directing all local police units to come up with a security risk assessment on barangay officials in their respective areas of responsibility and make the appropriate adjustments if necessary for their protection. All PNP units should also give special focus on their campaigns against loose firearms and private armed group,” Eleazar said.

Eleazar, meanwhile, ordered local police in Camarines Sur to conduct a manhunt operation against the suspect behind a shooting incident that killed four people and wounded two others in Milaor on Nov. 5.

The Camarines Sur Police Provincial Office said the still unidentified suspect entered the victims’ residence at Zone 1 in Barangay Tarusanan and fired shots at the victims using an M-16 rifle automatic rifle.

Investigation identified those killed as Romeo de Leon, 72; Samuel Coabilla, 21; Ruby Britanico, 9; and Gabby John Britanico, 6. Those wounded were Noel Agliones, 9; and Haygis Britanico, 7.

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