Cops deny vigilante group behind killings in Central Visayas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 26 2019 10:17 PM

Police denied Friday the presence of a vigilante group in the Central Visayas after a spate of killings in the region.

PBrig. Gen. Debold Sinas, director of Central Visayas Police Regional Office, denied the presence of a vigilante group after 2 alleged criminals were found dead in Talisay City, Cebu on Friday.

The men were tied to utility poles in Barangay Campo 4, the second and third such killings in the city in the last 5 days.

Tied to their necks were cardboard signs with a warning that translates roughly to "Stop or else you're next, thieves, drug pushers, drug lords."

In a press conference, Sinas claimed that members of a drug syndicate in the city are going against each other after its leaders were arrested by the police.

Sinas alleged that the killings may have been a message to the drug gang's other members or a way to divert the attention of the police from the investigation.

Last Monday, a man was found hanging off a bridge in the city. Police said he was shot multiple times.

There was also a sign that read: "Ay ko sunda, Tulisan ko (huwag tularan, mangdudukot ako)" written in bold letters using a black pentel pen.

Meanwhile, 11 killings were recorded in Negros Oriental this week. Sinas said there is no cause for alarm but they may place the province under red alert.

Authorities are looking into the possibility that members of the New People's Army (NPA) rebel group might be behind the killings.

Sinas said he asked Negros Oriental police chief PCol. Raul Tacaca to hasten the investigation.

Earlier, members of the Regional Mobile Force Batallion and the 11th Infantry Brigade were shot at by alleged NPA members on their way to Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental.

No one was reported wounded in the incident. - Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News