GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 16 July) – City officials directed police personnel here to double their efforts in securing the city and decisively address the rising cases of unsolved murders in the area in past several months.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera specifically ordered the city police director, Sr. Supt. Froilan Quidilla, on Wednesday to expedite the resolution of the shooting incidents and cases of killings in the area.
“We need to solve these cases immediately because it is already affecting the peace and order of the city. More specifically, it is detrimental to the business atmosphere that we are trying to project to investors,” the mayor said.
Since January, the city police office already recorded a total of 70 shooting incidents that were mostly perpetrated by motorcycle riding-in-tandem gunmen.
Of these cases, it said only 31 cases have remained unsolved but most of the suspects are still at-large.
Citing results of their investigation, police officials earlier said most of these cases were related to illegal drugs and personal grudges.
The top three barangays that posted the most number of gun-related killings were barangays Calumpang with eight and Lagao and Dadiangas West with six each.
Rivera said the city police should prioritize the immediate resolution of the unsolved killings as well as identify and arrest the perpetrators.
He said such move will help counter the growing perception among local residents that the city government and the local government were not doing anything to address the problem.
“Even if there are cases that are already solved, we can’t gain the trust of the people unless these criminals are held accountable,” he said.
For his part, Quidilla assured that they have been doing everything to address the cases of unsolved killings in the city but stressed that they need more cooperation from the city government and other local stakeholders.
“We also have inadequacies on our part, especially in terms of personnel and equipment,” he said in a meeting with the city mayor.
Rivera reiterated that the local government remains committed to provide the necessary assistance to the city police office to help improve their operations, specifically in terms of the area’s security.
Earlier this year, the city government acquired additional patrol motorcycles and increased its allocation for fuel and food of the city police’s patrol units.
“We’re willing to help you but the challenge to solve these incidents is still in your hands,” the mayor added.