Riding in tandem gunmen shoot dead BuCor whistle-blower

DAVAO CITY — A security officer of the Bureau Davao Penal Farm, known as Dapecol, was gunned down by men who were riding in tandem at about 9 a.m. Saturday in Carmen, Davao del Norte.

The Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office (DNPPO) identified the victim as Kabunsuan Makilala, the whistle-blower on the alleged corruption and other irregularities at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

In an interview with the DNPPO provincial director Sr. Supt. Ferdinand Sifuentes, it was learned that Makilala was shot by two unidentified gunmen while he was inside a bus.

Sifuentes said based on their investigation, Makilala was about to go home when he was followed by the suspects from the premises of the Davao Penal Farm in the town of Braulio E. Dujali, Davao del Norte.

“The suspects were wearing helmets and then after the incident, they fled to an unknown direction,” he said.

Based on reports, Makilala was the third person who was killed by unidentified men.

Last Nov., Davao Penal Farm superintendent for security and operations Robert Quinto was shot outside his house in Panabo City.

On Dec. 7 last year, Willie Plasabas, administrative officer of the penal farm, was also shot by unidentified suspects in Carmen, Davao del Norte while riding his motorcycle from his workplace on his way home.

However, Sifuentes said that he cannot state any connection between the killing of Makilala and the previous two since the investigation is still ongoing.

“For now, I cannot tell any information on that since the incident happened just this morning,” he said.

“I’m just waiting for a feedback from the investigators and if there are developments, maybe I can reveal the motive of the killing.”

It can be recalled that Makilala, a prison guard, named then BuCor director Gaudencio Pangilinan as having committed violations of Republic Act No. 9184 (Government Procurement Act); and authorizing the transfer of inmates, cutting historical trees, and appointing BuCor Assistant Director for Operations Romeo Fajardo, all of which were reportedly not within Pangilinan’s authority and mandate. Makilala was a former assistant head of the BuCor’s bids and awards committee.

Based on reports, all the accusations were denied by Pangilinan.

Makilala was supported by anti-corruption crusader Sandra Cam.

Makilala has applied to be included in the Witness Protection Program with then justice secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima. Makilala had feared for his life after he disclosed alleged anomalies at the state penitentiary. Armando Fenequito/PNA-northboundasia.com