THE General Santos City (GenSan) police chief confirmed that gun-for–hire groups being coddled by those involved in illegal drugs, gambling and professional land squatting are behind the spate of killings in the city.
Senior Supt. Romeo Berango admitted this after GenSan local officials and the business sector expressed alarm over the unsolved killings during the first six months of this year.
Police records showed about 30 civilians were killed by guns-for-hire from January to July. Another six civilians were also gunned down during the first three weeks of August.
The chief of police said these gun-for-hire groups were utilized by influential personalities to protect their illegal activities like drugs, land squatting and big time illegal gambling operations.
Alarmed by the shooting incidents, the city council put pressure on Berango to focus on the police investigation to unmask the suspects and those behind them, citing the compromised peace and order situation of GenSan.
City councilors Edmar Yumang and Geng Gacal said it is no longer a joke that, as police records show, two or three persons were killed within a month.
Berango said most of the victims were connected to illegal drug activities or involved in land dispute and squatting. Other cases allegedly stemmed from non-remittance of huge amounts of money from the illegal gambling operations in GenSan.
“But we are doing our best to solve the cases particularly on the series of shooting incidents which problem I only inherited when I assumed as city director here in July”, he said.
JERRY N. ADLAW