BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
“Generally peaceful” was how Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran described the peace and order situation in Bacolod despite the spate of killings that have transpired in the city recently.
Familiaran reassured residents and the business sector that the city remains safe, adding that, the police is on top of the situation.
Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer Frank Carbon said these incidents should not be treated as isolated cases or be downgraded as everyday events.
Carbon said all shooting incidents should be investigated thoroughly and analyzed for it may point to a much bigger societal problem.
Police records show that there have been eight shooting incidents in Bacolod which resulted in the deaths of the victims.
The latest to be killed was Eduardo Cataraja, 55, of Purok Linya in Brgy. Cabug, who was shot dead by three unidentified men while he was eating in his house Monday night.
On Saturday, trader Madelyn Benignos, 29, of Purok Lampirong in Brgy. 2, was shot by two men on a motorcycle near a mall while she was on a tricycle on her way home.
Four days before her shooting, a lone gunman killed Rhanz Morre Banias, 29 and injured his live-in partner, Mary Liza Pahamutang, 36, while they were resting in their rented place in Brgy. 2.
On Feb. 10, Salvador Regalado, 42, an alleged drug peddler, was shot dead at the city’s Reclamation Area also by motorcycle-riding suspects.
Angelica Montalvo, 23, of Brgy. Banago was also shot dead by a robber while she was in her boyfriend’s car along Circumferential Road in Brgy. Tangub, and Gerome Cientos, 62, an asset of the National Bureau of Investigation was shot dead in front of a store in Brgy 29, both on Feb. 3.
Last month, money lender Joeffrey Parandas, 59, was shot by three suspects in his room in Brgy. Alijis, while probationer Noel Perraren, 54, was also shot dead in Brgy. Pahanocoy.
“I am concerned also because, for me, all crimes whether committed against a person or property is alarming,” Familiaran said.
Asked if he still has confidence in Bacolod Police Office acting director, P/Col Manuel Placido, Familiaran did not answer directly and instead emphasized that crime solution and efficiency should be given importance by the police.
He also said that the public should understand that policemen in Bacolod are not enough to man the 16,000-hectare wide city.
Familiaran noted that there are only more than 600 policemen in Bacolod and most of them multi-task, hence there is a need to tap force multipliers like the barangay tanods and others to help in deterring crimes. P/Lt. Liberty Indiape, BCPO spokesperson, earlier said that the spate of killings in Bacolod were isolated and that the city is still safe.*