POLL-RELATED VIOLENCE STILL THRIVES IN CALBAYOG CITY DESPITE TOP COP’S ORDER TO STOP IT

POLL-RELATED VIOLENCE STILL THRIVES IN CALBAYOG CITY DESPITE TOP COP’S ORDER TO STOP IT

CALBAYOG CITY – A political supporter in this city was hurt in a shooting incident on Wednesday, two days after Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ricardo Marquez personally ordered local cops here to stop violence.

The police identified the victim as Jojo Taduyo, 28, whose brother, a village official in this city, was slain earlier this year.

The suspects, who were riding a motorcycle, shot the victim on Wednesday afternoon along the main road in Carayman village.

Gunmen, however, failed to fatally hit the victim because an unidentified policeman, who was reportedly present at the crime scene was able to return fire to the suspects.

According to a police report, the victim is still confined in a hospital for treatment.

The shooting incident came two days after Marquez personally ordered the local police here to stop election-related violence and neutralize private armed groups (PAGS).

Marquez and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento were in the city to meet civil society groups to tackle political killings committed by PAGS.

Samar now is one of the six provinces in the country placed by the police under election watch list for 2016 polls.

In the 2010 elections, police managed to neutralize the activities of the “Moloboco” and the “Montealto” private armed groups, however, remnants of such according to the police remain and reportedly now being maintained by some identified politician in Samar.

PNP said they have the list of some members of the group and they are now taking steps to neutralize their activity.

Marquez noted that elections in Samar come with a high price and more often bloody. “Things get violent as desperate politicians cling to power by using private armies during election.”

Four months ago in Victory village, this city, five members of Regulacion family, including children, were brutally killed in what would be the most gruesome election-related violence in Samar.

Since January 2015 to present, the city police here recorded 23 killings.

“Failure to address private armies puts political opponents and ordinary civilians at continued risk from powerful local politicians,” Marquez added.

“The police must be beyond the influence of politicians in their respective areas and need to enforce the full force of the law without fear or favor,” he added.

Meanwhile, Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino said Samar is mourning for peace. The latest shooting victim is reportedly the mayor’s supporter.

“We are against any form of terroristic act here and we are obliged to be against it together,” Aquino said. “This is an attack on our unity and peace.”

Aquino urged the people to be vigilant and to be very watchful to those people responsible for the killings. PNA/northboundasia.com