LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The Pangasinan police provincial office (PPPO) confirmed the increasing number of shooting incidents in the province, mostly involving drug personalities, but does not credit vigilantes for any of these.
Supt. Jackie Candelario, PPPO police information officer, said a total of 66 shooting incidents were recorded from July 1 to August 24, this year.
Candelario admitted though that most of the victims of these shooting incidents were drug personalities.
Despite this, he assured that PPPO is investigating the cases, adding, “we are conducting investigation as we believe even drug personalities have their own rights and we are serious with our investigation.”
He added that based on their initial investigation, no solid evidence yet has been unearthed to prove the existence of a vigilante group in the province which may be responsible with these shooting incidents.
“The slugs are undergoing ballistic cross-matching examination in the crime laboratory to verify whether the guns of suspects match with previous crimes perpetrated by criminal groups,” said Candelario.
Candelario also expressed condolence to the family of collateral damage victims especially to the five year-old girl who was killed by a riding in tandem, whose grandfather was a drug personality and the supposed target of the suspects.
“Don’t worry because we are doing our best and we are seriously investigating these incidents,” said Candelario.
He also assured the safety and protection of civilians in spite of the ongoing all out-war against illegal drugs and the prevalence of shooting incidents in the province.
“Most of the people in our province could attest to the peace and order in their towns because of our campaign against illegal drugs and the ones who fear are those still involved in illegal drug trade,” said Candelario.
He added that crime rate in the province decreased this year since the war on illegal drugs started.
“Crime is indeed mostly because of illegal drugs”, said Candelario. Hilda Austria/PNA/northboundasia.com