Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Quezon shootout or rubout? Policemen and soldiers turning rogue?

Calls for a thorough investigation of the alleged "shootout" between government forces and alleged members of a criminal syndicate operating in Quezon and Laguna had intensified after probers found that among the dead were members of the police and the military.

PNP chief Alan Purisima claims that the encounter between the alleged "criminals" and the security forces at Plaridel Quezon province was a legitimate shootout after the "criminals" fired at security forces manning an outpost. Indepth probe however shows that the vehicles where the victims were found bore multiple gun shots. The SUVs were peppered with bullets, with the guns of the alleged victims still unused inside their vehicles. Some of the journalists who covered the incident says it was a classic rubout, while others say, there were indeed, shots fired at the direction of the security forces.

Media sources however confirmed that the occupants of the vehicles were members of a jueteng syndicate headed by a certain Vic Siman Jr. Siman was allegedly the "godfather" of the illegal numbers game in the province of Quezon. The contingent where he rode in was headed towards Camarines Sur when it was "ambushed".

Siman's group is reportedly included in the list of suspected or known jueteng operators in the province of Quezon and Laguna. The group reportedly planned to operate in Bicol, expanding their operations, when they were killed.

Curiously, Siman's group included a Police Superintendent, soldiers, and military intelligence men. What are these uniformed officers doing inside the car of Siman? Why are they protecting a known jueteng lord?

Sources say Siman's group was ambushed by a rival group being protected by the brother of the head of the PNP intelligence group in Quezon.

Seems like our Policemen, our men in uniform, are losing their discipline. Have a grip, will you, PNP Chief Alan Purisima? Government seems helpless in stemming the tide of criminality. In a very short period of time, the rise of criminality could undermine the healthy economic environment.

Government should stamp its foot down and clamp down on jueteng lords and their criminal groups. The DILG should spearhead this drive so that the People will be convinced that it is dead serious in stamping out criminality in all its forms.