CEBU CITY, Philippines – A man was discovered shot and hung over a bridge in Talisay City, Cebu, early on Monday morning, July 22.
“Ay ko sunda, Tulisan ko (Don’t follow me, I’m a robber),” said a cardboard sign hung over his neck.
The victim was identified as Dante Autero. According to Brigadier General Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office 7, the victim was a “notorious” drug personality who had been in and out of prison.
Residents in the area told police they heard gunshots at around 3 am before his body was discovered hanging from the Mananga Bridge early morning.
The killing is reminiscent of the early days of the drug war from 2016 to 2017, when victims of extrajudicial killings were found with cardboard signs on their necks saying they were allegedly drug pushers or robbers, or otherwise guilty of committing other kinds of crimes.
Sinas said however that the doubts the Autero’s murder was the work of a vigilante group. “If it were vigilantes, they would have sent warnings ahead of time but there were none,” he told reporters.
This is the second killing in Metro Cebu in the span of 24 hours. Manuel Daposala, 46, was killed Sunday morning while buying water from an automatic dispenser on Cabantan Street in Cebu City, near the access road to the Cebu Business Park.
Two unidentified suspects shot him point blank in the neck and chest.
The United Nations recently passed a resolution, spearheaded by Iceland, to investigate the Philippines’ war on drugs which has led to at least 6,000 suspected drug personalities killed in police operations. (READ: PH drug war killings reach ‘threshold of crimes against humanity’ – report)
Human rights groups say the number is over 20,000, if including those killed vigilante-style. – Rappler.com