LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 22 (PNA) —- The top police official of the Police Regional office in Bicol (PRO5) has ordered all provincial directors, unit commanders and chiefs of police in the region to step up the police visibility in their areas after noting nearly one case of shooting incident being reported everyday from January 1 to the present.
Chief Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, director of Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5), said the six Provincial Police Offices (PPO) and Naga City Police Office have reported 50 cases of shooting incidents over a 53-day period from January 1 to February 22.
He said PRO5 plans to augment the police force in all police stations in the region which have a small number of policemen.
Buenafe said in the 50 shooting incidents reported in Bicol, 25 of the victims were dead on the spot while the rest were wounded, hospitalized or able to escape unharmed.
He said of the 50 cases, 28 cases have yet to be solved, 12 have been solved while 10 of the cases are considered as “cleared” with the suspects already locked up in jail.
Senior Insp. Ma. Luisa Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson, said most of the shooting incidents happened after the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire of the NPA rebels and the government early this month.
She attributed some of the incidents to personal grudges between the victims and the suspects while the others are still under investigation.
Masbate province topped the list with 19 cases, followed by Albay and Camarines Sur with 9 cases each, Camarines Norte--7, Sorsogon-3, Catanduanes-1 and Naga City-2.
The most recent shooting incidents involved five people who were reported killed in four separate shooting incidents in three towns and a city in Albay province on Monday and Tuesday.
On Monday morning at 3:45 a.m., couple Edwin and Nelly Pababiro, both residents of Purok 6, Barangay (village) Upper Binogsacan, Guinobatan town were preparing to deliver vegetables to the town’s public market when a gunman approached and shot them.
The two died on the spot. Investigators from the Guinobatan Municipal Police Office are eyeing the New People’s Army rebels as responsible for the killing as the victims had been tagged by the communist guerrillas as military and police informants.
Chief Insp. Arthur Gomez, investigation chief and information officer of Albay PPO, said Nelly’s mother was shot and killed by the rebels sometime in 2013. After the incident, Nelly and her spouse managed to hide in Metro Manila but after three years they had returned to Guinobatan to become vegetable dealers.
On Tuesday at 2:30 a.m. Dennis Mirandilla, 30, was shot by unidentified gunman along Magayon Drive in Barangay Tagas, Daraga town. He died while being treated at Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital. Investigators recovered two empty shells from a .45-caliber pistol.
Investigators said the victim was a notorious burglar and suspect in some robbery cases in their village.
At 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Ronnie L. Orje, 44 of Barangay Poblacion, Jovellar town, was shot in front of his house. He died from multiple gunshot wounds on his face and different parts of the body. Orje had been tagged as a government informant by the NPA.
At 5:15 p.m., also on Tuesday, Salvador Malana, was on his motorcycle and travelling along Sabloyon Road in Barangay Bantayan in Tabaco City when suspects riding in tandem on a motorcycle gunned him down.
He had come from Libon town where he was a former village chief of Barangay Macabugos. Malana suffered gunshot wounds on his head and different parts of the body. Two empty shells for an unkown caliber of firearm were recovered in the scene of crime.
Initial investigation showed Malana was a witness in a shooting incident case in Libon town that involved the notorious criminal group headed by Gilbert Concepcion operating in the northwestern towns of Albay.
“I have ordered my men to fully investigate the incidents and solve them at the soonest time possible,” said Senior Supt. Antonino Cirujales, director of Albay PPO. (PNA) LAP/GVR/JH/CBD