Police create special task group Zara | Buzon slams killings, too

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BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

*File photo

Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon yesterday condemned the killing of human rights activist Zara Alvarez in Bacolod City Monday night and of all others before her, as acts of violence and brutal disregard for the sanctity of human life.

The lone gunman and a driver of a motorcycle are the suspects in the killing of Alvarez, 39, who was shot six times, while on her way home, P/Maj. Richard Fajarito, Station 3 chief, said Tuesday.

“These killings violate the fundamental conviction that we are a society of laws and due process,” Buzon said.

These cases speak of the kind of society that we are sadly becoming – one that is desensitized by these almost daily killings, the bishop said.

“As a people, we deserve a better society than one where hate and violence prevail and human life a disposable thing,” Buzon added.

P/Col. Henry Biñas, Bacolod City Police Office director, said they created a Zara Alvarez Special Investigation Task Group yesterday to investigate the killing of Alvarez at Sta. Maria Street in Eroreco Subdivision.

They are investigating all angles, he said, when asked if they were looking into allegations that she was killed by state forces.

A personal grudge and affiliation with progressive groups are the angles being looked into by the police, Fajarito said Tuesday.

Biñas said they are reviewing the activities of Alvarez and the charges filed against her.

Alvarez was charged with several others for a New People’s Army encounter with the Army in the hinterlands of Cadiz City on March 10, 2010, that left Capt. Archie Polenzo and six rebels dead, Police Master Sergeant Aldrich John Lucero, of the Cadiz police, said.

She was later released on bail, he added.

San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said Tuesday that Alvarez, who was imprisoned on fabricated charges, had been receiving threats.

***

The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod approved a resolution yesterday requesting the Bacolod City Police Office, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, National Bureau of Investigation and all other law enforcement agencies in the city to conduct an investigation for the early resolution of the murder of Alvarez.

The SP resolution authored by Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. called on the law enforcement agencies to resolve at the earliest possible time several crimes committed in the city, including the slaying of businessmen Alex Yao, Roland Tan, Kaishek Tan, barangay captains Nelson Ligaya and Maui Huelar, lawyer Rafael Atutubo, Police Officer Oscar Exaltado, Jail Officer Jayvee Vargas and the attempted murder of Councilor Ricardo Tan, among others.

The SP said these senseless and ruthless acts have horrified and created fear, anxiety and apprehensions among the people of Bacolod.*CGS

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