Friday, January 29, 2010

Palermo says EJKs caused by rido, not politics

PAGADIAN City Police Chief Inspector Michael Palermo categorically said the recent extra judicial killings happening in the city in the past weeks is caused by grudges or family feud, not politically motivated as reported by media.

Palermo said that based on their investigations of the killings, self-motivated Muslim clan conflicts resulted in such unfortunate murders, one aspect that needs strategic interventions from its beginnings.

The police official cited the murder of Mohaliden “Steve” Tapodoc, executive secretary of Labangan vice mayor Wilson “Kity” Nandang and a candidate for councilor, who was killed by motorcycle-riding gun men near the Filipinista Church here.

Palermo narrated that Tapodoc escaped a prior attempt on his life in 2008, which, the police chief attributed to Tapodoc’s dispute with another resident of Labangan.

Complaining on earlier reports by media, Palermo wondered why the news of the extra judicial killings are being blown up at a time when elections are approaching. “It cannot be necessarily concluded that since the killings happened near election, it is already election–related,” he added.

He also corrected impressions that the police are not doing its job on the killings, adding no suspects were apprehended as of the moment since no complainants have come forward to tell something.

“In the process of our investigation, there was no complainant that came to our station, nobody, not even from the family members to complain on the shooting incidents. Who’s there to prosecute?” he asked.

It can be recalled last week that the Liberal Party (LP) in the province headed by Vice Governor Roseller “Roy” Ariosa decried the series of extra judicial killings in the city, believing these were politically motivated.

The LP mentioned in their press statement the deaths of Rascal Tiban Afdal, a political leader and a relative of Mayor Abubakar Afdal of Labangan, Hadja Hanira Abdullah Agcong and Tapodoc.

Senator Mar Roxas, in the same statement, also called for an investigation on the murders, saying it “could be the kick-off of organized violence against opposition candidates and supporters to sabotage the widely-expected opposition victory in May 10 elections.”

Roxas then called on the Comelec “to take drastic steps to stop the rising poll-related incidents violence, or risk demanding the credibility of the elections” and alluded to the need to replace the entire PNP contingent in Zambosur to quell the apprehension of LP leaders and supporters who expressed concern that the gunmen maybe men in uniform. “moonlighting or co-opted to do their dirty work for pro-administration candidates in the region.”

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)–Pagadian City Chief Eric Distor, meanwhile, said Roxas is just expressing his political opinion “as a normal reaction.” He added the senator may have been “misinformed” or he failed to see the full view of the recent happenings in Zambosur.