GenSan killings linked to drug war

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 29 May) – Police authorities are looking at a possible “drug war” or conflict among groups involved in illegal drug trade as behind the daring killing of four people here in a span of just two days earlier this week.

Supt. Rolly Octavio, deputy city police director for operations, said Wednesday initial results of their investigation showed that three of the four victims of the fatal shooting incidents here on Sunday and Monday appeared to have links with alleged illegal drug syndicates that have been operating in the area.

He said three of the victims have supposedly worked either as pusher or courier of illegal drugs, specifically of metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, in the city.

Such findings were based on the results of the profiling and background check conducted by police investigators on the four murder victims, he said.

“They (three victims) have backgrounds with illegal drugs so we’re checking whether there’s an ongoing drug war in the city,” Octavio said.

Three of the four murders separately occurred on Sunday while the other incident ensued late Monday night.

The first victim was identified as John Paul Silva, who was gunned down around 11 a.m. last Sunday inside the Sarmiento Compound along Durian Street in Barangay Dadiangas North.

An hour later, an unidentified gunman shot dead victim Dennis Abbas, head guard of Rivas Security Agency, while the latter was visiting a friend in Sitio Biu in Barangay Tambler.

Victim Romeo Zamora Jr. was fatally shot around 6 p.m. near his residence in Purok Tinago of Barangay Dadiangas South.

Around 11:30 p.m. on Monday, a female victim was gunned down at close range by unidentified assailants in front of the General Santos City Park along P. Acharon Boulevard.

Octavio did not specify who among the victims were involved in the illegal drug trade but said the last fatality, whose identity was initially withheld pending the ongoing police investigation, was supposedly a “small-time drug pusher.”

“The investigation and the profiling of the victims are still ongoing and we’re hoping to get some breakthrough with these cases in the coming days,” he said.

Octavio added that the city police office has been digging deeper into the four murder cases and that they are working closely with some witnesses to identify the suspects involved in the killings.