GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/31 May) — Police personnel here have intensified their security patrols and random inspections on motorists within the city in the wake of the series of daring murders in the last several days.
Supt. Rolly Octavio, deputy city police director for operations, said Friday the heightened operations were part of the continuing implementation of operation plans or Oplans “Sita” and “Kapkap,” which were earlier adopted by the city police to curb the rising cases of shooting incidents and other related street crimes in the area.
He said the renewed city-wide patrols are spearheaded by the city police’s mobile patrol group and the special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team.
“Police teams are roaming around the city to look out for suspicious movements of some individuals or groups and motorists who are using vehicles, especially motorcycles, that have no license plates,” he said.
Octavio said that once their operatives would spot any suspicious elements, they will immediately subject them to security inspection.
The police official said their main targets are motorcycle riders in tandem who are using unmarked motorcycles or without license plates.
He said accounts from witnesses of the recent cases of killings in the city showed that the gunmen or suspects had used unmarked motorcycles.
The city was hit anew by a series of shooting incidents since last Sunday that already left five people dead and two others wounded.
The latest fatality was a worker of a vulcanizing shop near the public market who was shot dead late Wednesday night by two unidentified suspects riding on a motorcycle.
Authorities earlier said some of the victims appeared to have links with groups involved in the illegal drug trade and could have been casualties of a local “drug war.”
Octavio said they could not yet conclude whether organized groups were behind the spate of killings in the city but noted that the bullets recovered from one of the latest killings have matched with the firearm used in similar incidents in the past months.
The police official assured that they are exerting all efforts to resolve the murder cases and prevent them from happening again.
“Our goal is to put an end to these killings. So we shifted our strategy and involved our specialized units in the campaign,” he said.
Octavio added the city police office has been continually studying the situation and devising appropriate strategies that would effectively address them. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)