Bicycle-riding cops vs deadly Davao Death Squad gunmen

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BY ROGER M. BALANZA

Unable to stop the Davao Death Squad (DDS) from its murderous spree of hundreds of summary executions targeting mostly teeners in petty crimes, the chief of police in this city has the luxury of dishing out a joke in hunting down the criminals.

If the 3,000-man armed policemen of the force could not do anything about the murders, then he is now sending to the streets policemen on bikes.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Davao City Police chief Jayme Morente said police are stepping up the campaign to stop the resurgence of summary killings, including fielding of more policemen on bikes. The shadowy death squad believed to be government-backed are fast, precise .45 caliber-shooting gunmen and leave the scene on motorcycles before even the shadow of a cop arrives at the scene.

This, as fifteen victims were killed since Friday in separate shooting and stabbing incidents, raising a public ruckus at the murders.

Morente dished out the joke after he met with various precinct commanders to map out plans to curb if not stop the killings, many of them bearing the hallmark of vigilante killings.

He told media police visibility would involve fielding of more cops in bike, and personnel from the 2nd City Mobile Group to deter killers.

The spate of summary executions has been assailed by city councilors, with councilor Nilo Abellera assailing police for the murders. Abellera, chair of the peace and order committee, in a privilege speech on Tuesday, joined militant and religious groups in condemning the murders.

With the deployment of more mobile personnel and the bike patrol, we hope to improve on crime solution, Morente told media after emerging from the meeting with his precinct commanders.

But Morente’s dig may have some element of credibility. The death squad usually ambush their victims in narrow allays in the city’s slums where police cars could not enter.

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