MANILA, Philippines - Mayor Alfredo Lim ordered the Manila Police District (MPD) yesterday to investigate reports of summary executions believed to be the handiwork of law enforcers.
Lim said while he remains skeptical that there has been a wave of summary executions in the city, he would still order MPD director Chief Superintendent Alex Gutierrez to verify these reports.
“There is no summary execution, that is not true. We always jump to conclusions. But at any rate we would inquire and investigate,” Lim said.
Lim relayed his instructions to Gutierrez yesterday afternoon.
“He is the chief of police so he should investigate all these things. We want to know who is behind the dumping of bodies (in the city),” he added.
However, when asked if he would give Gutierrez a deadline to complete the task, Lim said it would be difficult to set a definite date.
The bodies of at least four men have been found at the former Smokey Mountain dump in Tondo, Manila since the start of the year. Two of the bodies were found last Thursday and Friday. All of them were gagged, bound and stuffed into sacks, bags or boxes.
A retired policeman, who requested anonymity, said reports of bodies recovered at the former Smokey Mountain dump was reminiscent of the times when he was investigating a series of summary executions in different parts of the city in the 1990s.
He observed that the style of the killings is the same. The victims are often known criminals or recidivists and the bodies dumped in areas where they would be easily found. The killers – suspected to be law enforcers – would leave placards identifying the victims as criminals.
Meanwhile, Manila policemen killed two alleged robbers at past midnight yesterday, bringing the number of alleged robbers slain in shootouts with MPD personnel to 15 in less than two months.
In the same period, only one lawman was killed. A Navotas policeman was gunned down by four robbers in Sampaloc a couple of weeks ago while trying to respond to a robbery in his community.
Senior Police Officer 2 Glenzor Vallejo said a team from Police Station 5, led by Senior Inspector Rolando Lorenzo, noticed a commotion in the passenger jeepney driven by Rogel Sablan, 42, at the corner of Taft Avenue and Leon Guinto street at around 12:15 a.m. while they were on patrol.
Sablan said four men boarded his jeepney at the corner of Nakpil street and Taft Avenue and robbed his 10 passengers.
The suspects were about to flee when the policemen blocked their path and told them to surrender. The suspects shot at the lawmen, who retaliated and killed one. The slain suspect had tattoos all over his body, the most prominent of which was the word “Commando.”
The second suspect tried to cross Remedios street as he shot it out with policemen. He was also shot dead. He bore a “Jonamies” tattoo on his chest and “Sputnik” on his right knee.
Their two accomplices were able to escape during the melee, taking with them loot amounting to P100,000, several cell phones and other valuables.
Several establishments along Taft Avenue were peppered with bullets, an indication of the fierce gunbattle between the robbers and the policemen, officials said.
Gutierrez praised his men for the feat and promised to support their drive against criminals. - By Evelyn Macairan and Rey Galupo