GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Officials have raised alarm over the increasing cases of gun-related killings in the city, which have reached 59 since January.
City Councilor Franklin Gacal Jr., chair of the city council’s committee on public order and safety, said Monday the spate of killings in the city has already reached an alarming level and raised questions on the area’s security situation.
He said a significant number of murders, which mostly involved suspects riding-in-tandem on motorcycles, have remained unresolved.
“These killings are really alarming. We had close to a dozen cases in August alone and the trend has continued these past weeks,” he said in a radio interview.
Among the latest victims were a city traffic enforcer, a police intelligence officer and three cockpit workers.
Gacal said they have called acting city police director, Sr. Supt. Romeo Ruel Berango, to appear before the city council on Tuesday to explain the rising cases of killings in the city.
He said they will ask about the status of the ongoing investigation and the actions taken by the city police to address the situation.
“We want them to explain what has been happening and whether our city is still a safe place to go to,” he said.
City Councilor Lourdes Casabuena echoed Gacal’s concerns and noted that the series of killings have brought fears to some residents.
She said the city government should not take the situation lightly and take the necessary actions before it worsens later on.
City Councilor Van Dyke Congson said he wants to know whether these killings were perpetrated by organized groups and if there are death squads operating in the area.
Citing some of the cases these past weeks, he said it appears that the circumstances and the “style” of the killings were quite similar.
“There appears to be a pattern already and there are circumstances showing that these are not ordinary crimes. I hope this is not a case of organized criminal activity,” he said.
He urged the city government to spearhead concerted actions involving law enforcement units and concerned stakeholders to effectively address the problem.