DAVAO CITY -- Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte warned residents against the proliferation of gun-for-hire groups, saying they were behind the series of killings in the city.
“Be careful of people approaching you, offering help,” Duterte said in a press conference Wednesday at the Grand Men Seng Hotel.
He said people must be vigilant over those offering to be security cordon because these are the same people hired by the other party to kill them.
He said conflicts that involve selling of land and extortion are among the issues that gun-for-hire men ride on.
Duterte said he will be calling a command conference anytime soon to compel the police and the military to device ways on how to stop these groups from operating in the city.
“This has to stop, otherwise, we will have a very dangerous situation,” he said.
To date, Duterte said, they are still in the process of identifying these hired assassins, though, he said he knew some of them.
“I might know some of them, but they are not from the city. This is also not one big syndicate but several small groups,” he said, adding these groups do not permanently reside in the city but also operated in Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.
The vice mayor said those who have offended or recently have conflict with other people must also be careful since people today do not anymore trust human rights to settle their cases.
He said “revenge” is the most common thing people have in mind when they are aggrieved.
Duterte, meanwhile, urged the Commission on Human Rights in Davao Region to act on crimes that victimize innocent individuals.
The vice mayor also ordered all station commanders to arrest all those who have pending warrants of arrest.
“Kay mamatay na kamo'y pasanginlan (If they die, you – police officers – will be blamed), make the arrest now, tan-awon gyud ninyo kung buhi ba sila (make sure they’re alive),” he said.
Duterte said the murder of Barangay Lacson chief Aldion Layao could be the work of one of the gun-for-hire groups.
He denied reports that Layao's death could be politics-related.
Layao is a known supporter of Duterte's political rival, former House Speaker Prospero Nograles.
The vice mayor said Layao's death could also not be due to his being a former broadcaster since he has long left his profession when he became the village chief of Lacson in Calinan.
The vice mayor said there are other village chiefs who received death threats recently, among them is 76-A barangay captain Robert Olanolan.
Olanolan is formerly allied with the Nograleses but is now with the Dutertes. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)