GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city council here will hold a special session within the week to look into the resurgence of gun-related killings in the past two weeks involving motorcycle-riding criminals.
Councilor Jose Edmar Yumang, chair of the city council’s committee on public order and safety, said Tuesday they will invite officials of the city police office to provide updates on the cases and their efforts to address them.
He said the city government and the public have the right to information on this matter amid growing concerns on the area’s peace and order situation.
“We want to know the background of these cases, the progress of the investigation, the strategies and actions being undertaken to protect our residents,” he said in a radio interview.
The city already recorded a total of five shooting incidents in the last two weeks that resulted in the killing of four people and one currently in critical condition.
The victims included ex-officio councilor and barangay chairman Isedrito Poncardas Cañete of Glan Padidu in Glan town, Sarangani province who was shot dead by suspected hired gunmen while visiting the city on Dec. 9.
The victim was the president of Liga ng mga Barangay and a former three-term councilor of Glan.
Yumang said the special inquiry is not meant to put the blame or scrutinize the performance of the city police, especially acting chief Col. Gilberto Tuzon, but to find solutions to the problem.
He said they want to determine the circumstances of the incidents, possible operational gaps and the adjustments that should be made by police units.
“If they need to double, triple, or even quadruple their visibility in strategic areas then we will push for that,” he said.
Yumang said it is also important for the city police to just focus on the investigation part but make sure that these will yield tangible results and the filing of cases in the courts.
Benirando Claudio, vice president of the city’s chamber of commerce and industry, expressed support for the city’s council’s move to hold a special session to address the matter.
Based on initial reports, he said the incidents appeared isolated but authorities should still resolve them as they might get worse and affect the perception and confidence of prospective investors.
“I think they (police) have enough resources and capability to address this but we need them to be more proactive, especially in terms of public visibility,” he said. (PNA)