INTERIOR Secretary Mar Roxas 2nd has announced that to stem the rise in violence and killings primarily by men on board motorcycles or riding-in-tandem, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is mulling the strengthening of intelligence gathering and a strict implementation of installing nationwide closed-circuit television in barangays and major establishments.
Roxas also called on the local government units to join the government’s campaign against rising criminality, especially on the barangay level.
Earlier, a video footage aired over ABS-CBN showed two armed men on a motorcycle charging into an open eatery in Kamuning, Quezon City, and holding up all the persons inside. They even took time to hit one of the victims who refused to give his car keys and cellphone, and threatened to kill him.
More killings were reported in Quezon City where riding-in-tandem armed men shot a roving barangay official along the IBP Road as he was going home.
Reports of similar crimes were coming from the provinces.
In San Pascual, Batangas, a former village chief in the person on Antonio Tabares was gunned down by heavily armed men.
Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) founding chairman Dante Jimenez went to the said province to condemn the unabated killings, as he appealed to President Benigno Aquino 3rd to order the Philippine National Police (PNP) to expedite the investigation of the string of unresolved cases across the nation where violence has been on the upswing.
Jimenez also revealed that in the town of San Pascual alone, a string of killings has been noted over the past two months.
The cases include the murder of Tabares, who was killed along a national highway in Barangay San Antonio at around 7:45 a.m. on December 31.
On November 27, overseas Filipino worker Ruben Magnaye, 59, was killed by two motorcycle-riding men along Dimatatac Road in Barangay Poblacion at around 7:15 a.m.
On October 30, former vice-mayor Alfredo Aldover was also shot by unknown suspects along a national road in Barangay Poblacion while he was on board his vehicle (VEZ-341) at around 11:15 a.m.
Police have yet to identify the respective perpetrators and motives behind the killings.
“The sad thing about these cases is that all, and may I repeat, all of the suspects remain at large, and the status of the cases with the PNP remains ‘under investigation’ with no clear lead of how it is currently undergoing,” Jimenez said in a statement he said the rise in cases of killing is a startling contrast to the president’s “Tuwid Na Daan” slogan, and is a challenge to the DILG’s mission of promoting peace and order.
Meanwhile, at least one LGU quickly responded to the call of Roxas.
Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada on Friday said that his administration is seriously considering a ban on ‘riding in tandem’ in a bid to curb criminality being perpetrated by men riding in pairs.
Estrada, however, clarified that the city council was still studying the details of the proposal of Councilor Rodolfo Lacsama and will hold hearings to which motorcycle users will be invited.
“Riding in tandem criminals do not only snatch jewelry, cellphones or bags, but also kill helpless people “ Estrada told reporters at the sidelines of the 113th anniversary of Manila Police District in which 174 police officers were promoted, led by SPO4 Ernesto Martinez of the MPD Public Information Office.
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno added that the city government will also deploy secret agents to help in intelligence gathering and prevent crimes.
Among the victims of men riding in tandem were Jail Officer 4 Benjamin Signat who was killed last year; Police Officer 2 Ryan Bagadiong who was murdered in 2012, and Polytechnic University of the Philippines Vice President Augusto Cesar in October 2011.
The ban on riding in tandem is now pending at the Manila council.