Police says no ‘hit list’ for drug personalities, lawyers in Surigao del Norte

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Feb) – Authorities here have denied accusations of having a “hit list” containing the names of drug personalities, including protectors and lawyers representing drug-related cases.

Sr. Supt. Anthony Maghari told reporters Thursday afternoon that there is no such list even as lawyers here condemned the attacks on their colleagues by gunmen.

The Surigao del Norte chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and supporters went to the streets Thursday holding placards that said “Stop killing lawyers.”

Maghari said these are mere speculations that PNP members are behind the killing of retired Regional Trial Court Judge Victor A. Canoy and the slay attempt on Surigao City Prosecutor Manuel N. Tesiorna.

Insp. Joel Cabanes, former intelligence officer of the city police office, told reporters that he has no knowledge of the alleged hit list.

“If there’s a hit list, the PNP provincial director will know it. We don’t have it,” he stressed.

Cabanes has made dozens of arrests of those alleged to be involved in the illegal drug trade in the city and in the municipalities of Surigao del Norte.

Shortly before noon last Feb. 2, retired Regional Trial Court Judge Victor A. Canoy was gunned down by an unidentified assailant along Burgos St. here. The slain lawyer was former executive judge of the RTC branches in the province.

Four days later, incumbent City Prosecutor Manuel N. Tesiorna Jr. was also shot early in the morning right at his own house. He sustained seven gunshot wounds and still fighting for his life.

Maghari said they have “persons of interest” related in the shooting but are still under investigation. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)