BAGUIO CITY—Mayor Manalo Galuten of Mankayan, Benguet, said his municipality is still peaceful despite the series of killings over the past few years, especially within the compound of Lepanto Mines Division.
Galuten said he has ordered the Mankayan police to intensify its patrol operation, especially during nighttime, in a bid to discourage criminals.
Galuten also said it was not at his stint as mayor when five employees of Lepanto Mines, including a young engineer, were killed by seven armed men during a robbery in September 2003 when the robbers steal 21 kilos in gold bars.
But it is at Galuten’s watch when a gold trader couple were killed within the Lepanto compound and reportedly robbed while another community leader in Barangay Paco was also killed.
Galuten admitted he has yet to be informed of the latest developments about the killings within the Lepanto compound, but assured that the police are doing its best to arrest the suspects.
The series of killings within the Lepanto Mines compound have triggered Board Member William Esteban of Benguet to request the Philippine National Police chief, Director General Edgardo Aglipay, to deploy more policemen in the 13 towns of Benguet.
Esteban said records disclosed that there are about 440 policemen under the Benguet provincial police office and the Benguet provincial mobile group and said is not enough to police Benguet’s more than 400,000 population.
He stressed that under existing standards, there should be one policeman for every 500 residents, but that ratio has not been fulfilled for several years.