PNP-Ilocos Norte declares war vs gun-for-hire syndicates, drugs

LAOAG CITY —- Provincial Director Melencio Nartatez of the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (INPPO) has made an appeal to all local chief executives in the province to help them in preserving peace and order and ensuring public safety.

Narrowing down suspects in gun for hire operations involving Ilocos politicians as either suspects or victims of several shooting incidents in the province, Nartatez said the PNP is counting on the full support of the community and politicians themselves to put an end to this problem.

The PNP Provincial Director’s statement came following the June 3 killing of Marcos town mayor Arsenio Agustin which investigators believed was politically motivated.

As the vacated position of Mayor Agustin is now held by Vice Mayor Jessie Ermitanio by law of succession, Nartatez made it clear to the latter that the PNP is at war with gun-for-hire syndicates in the province as well as prohibited drugs.

He enjoined the newly-appointed Marcos mayor and vice mayor who officially took their new oath of office on Wednesday to cooperate with the PNP in helping resolve these senseless killings the soonest possible time.

“Help us preserve peace and order and ensure public safety. We can’t act on it without the support of the local community and the local government units,” he said.

When asked about the progress report on the case of Agustin’s killing which appears to be “carefully planned” by the mastermind using a gun-for-hire group, Nartatez said they are carefully studying the preserved physical pieces of evidence recovered at the crime scene and intend to gather testimonies from at least 30 witnesses — before, during, and after the incidents.

“From a group of gun-for-hire personalities, we have narrowed down the list to a group of three. Hopefully we can come up with a positive result,” he added. LGA/