COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 19 March) – The city’s Public Safety chief was gunned down along Sinsuat Avenue corner Macapagal Road at around 9:15 a.m. on Saturday.
Police said Rolin Balquin, a retired chief of police who worked as City Public Safety chief after his retirement from the police service, had just returned to his car after gracing the opening of a store, when shot.
He was rushed to a hospital along with his police escort, Master Sgt. Ariel Gutang. Balquin did not survive the head and torso wounds.
Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi condemned the attack against her friend and trusted official, who, she said, was doing routine rounds in the different establishments as head (of the) Composite Quarantine Team.
“To those behind this attack, I assure you that authorities will hunt you,” she said, adding they will not stop until the perpetrators are prosecuted.
“This is too much of disrespect to our law and to our officials,” she said.
Initial reports received said the gunmen used .45 caliber pistol.
The family of Balquin said they were not aware of any threat on his life.
“If you think we are weakened” because of the attack, “you are wrong, you just make us stronger and that fuels our belief that you just wanted to destroy our city,” the mayor added.
Two years ago, on May 25 2020, Sayadi’s executive secretary and spokesperson, Anecito Rasalan was shot, also in the head and torso, while having breakfast in an eatery along Notre Dame Avenue at around 7:30 a.m.
Balquin, then already the city’s chief of the Public Safety Office, said two-motorcyle riding men shot the victim who was rushed to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Centec but did not survive.
During the Peace and Council Meeting last week, police announced an increase of crime rate in Cotabato City in the first quarter of the year.
City Police Director Rommel Javier said 125 crimes were recorded, higher than the 114 cases monitored last year. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)