GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/28 November) — Police authorities assured Wednesday that the city’s security situation has remained under control despite the spate of gun-related violence in the area in the last several days that killed two police officers and a suspected hired gunman.
Chief Supt. Alex Paul Monteagudo, Region 12 police director, said all police units in the city and the neighboring areas are on high alert and intensive follow-up operations are currently ongoing against those behind the daring murder of two local policemen just hours from each other on Tuesday.
He said investigators were specifically pursuing several leads into the daring killing of Police Officer 1 (PO1) Franklin Akiatan and Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Raul Capati, who were separately gunned down by gunmen riding in tandem at around 10:30 a.m. and past 5 p.m., respectively.
A police report said PO1 Akiatan, who was aboard a motorcycle, had just emerged from a Jollibee outlet in Barangay Calumpang here when he was shot by unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen.
Akiatan, who had accompanied a godson to the food chain’s outlet, failed to reach the Mindanao Medical Center alive due to several gunshot wounds on his head and body.
Akiatan’s killing was reportedly caught by the closed-circuit television or CCTV camera of the food chain’s outlet.
At around 5:15 p.m., SPO1 Capati was gunned down by two motorcycle-riding suspects near the junction of the Mabuhay Road and the national highway here.
Capati died on the spot due to multiple gunshot wounds while his civilian companion, whose identity was withheld for security reasons, was wounded.
Citing reports from the city police office, Monteagudo confirmed that one of SPO1 Capati’s gunmen was killed following a shootout with pursuing lawmen near the Sinawal Bridge in Baragay Labangal.
He said the other suspect, who was seriously wounded, was arrested near a housing subdivision in the area at around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The police official said they were verifying the identities of the two suspects, whom he believed could eventually lead to the resolution of the case.
“We’re presently digging deeper into the two murders cases and checking whether they’re related or not,” he said.
Monteagudo refused to speculate on the possible motive of the killings and whether a bigger group was behind them.
“We already have some leads but it’s too early to make a conclusion right now,” he said, stressing the incident was “very unusual.”
He admitted that they were alarmed with twin killings, “but if we say they might lead to bigger problems, security-wise, I don’t think so.”
The twin murders happened a day after a retired employee lost around P500,000 in cash in a daring robbery incident staged by motorcycle-riding men along the Pioneer Avenue here on Monday.
Last Saturday evening, a police officer identified as PO1 Mark Anthony Santillan was wounded after he was shot by two motorcycle-riding gunmen after going past a police blockade in Barangay Fatima.
A suspect identified as Rodel Silaya was wounded in an ensuing shootout with responding policemen and was eventually arrested. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)