CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MIKE BAÑOS / Oct. 4) - The Philippine National Police Task Force Usig claims it has solved 19 of the extrajudicial killings in the country, well ahead of the 10 cases target President Gloria Arroyo tasked them to solve by October 10, this year.
PNP Dir. Gen. Oscar C. Calderon said during a speech at the PNP Regional Office 10 yesterday: “On October 10, the 10-week deadline set by our President to solve at least 10 cases of militant and media killings will expire. With these, I am happy to announce that as of today (Tuesday, October 3, 2004), there are already 19 cases solved, way past our target.”
However, Calderon cautioned the PRO-X personnel present that they must remain vigilant and pro-active in preventing more slayings in order to restore order in the streets and maintain stability in peacekeeping and law enforcement.
During a press conference held later the same day at a local hotel, Calderon said by “solved”, he meant the appropriate cases have been filed and the suspects arrested.
“We have arrested 12 suspects and 70% of the cases involving journalists have been solved,” he said.
Calderon attributed the relatively higher solution rate in the solution of the killings of journalists to the cooperation extended to the PNP by the victim’s families and the ability of the media community to encourage key witnesses to come forward to identify the perpetrators of the crimes.
“We have also found that most of the killings involving the media people are not job-related,” Calderon added, meaning the motives for the murders were not related to the stories published or investigated by the victims.
However, he admitted having a hard time getting the cooperation of the families of militants since they don’t trust the motives of the PNP in helping them solve the murders of their kin.
“There are presumptions already existing about the PNP so it is quite difficult to convince the families of militants’ victims we are here to help them, and protect their kin from being harmed,” Calderon said.
After a pass-in review at the PNP PRO-10 headquarters, Calderon also graced the groundbreaking for the housing project of the Cagayan de Oro Police Office (COCPO) at Bgy Canitoan and the blessing of the new Cugman police station donated by the Misamis Oriental Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Alwana Business Park, before proceeding to Bukidnon to continue his inspection.