Philippine economy

At least 3 people killed within 4-hour period in Cebu City

Ryan Macasero
At least 3 people killed within 4-hour period in Cebu City
Two of the victims are shot dead, while a third is stabbed in the chest

CEBU CITY, Philippines – At least 3 people were killed in separate incidents across Cebu City on Monday, February 24.

Elmer Peñola, 37, was shot dead outside his house on Sitio Pagasa in Barangay Hipodromo at around 3 am.

Police officer Antonio Din said that it only took one shot to the head to kill Peñola while he was drinking alcohol outside of his house.

“His wife said he’s taken drugs, but we can’t conclude that it’s drug related,” Din said.

Witnesses said they could only make out the suspect’s white t-shirt, but could not see what he looked like.

The police officer said there was a CCTV in the crime scene area, but have yet to check the footage.

Second killing

At around the same time Peñola was killed, another man was shot in the face Sitio Buwaran in Barangay Sawang Calero.

As of this posting time, the victim has not yet been identified.

Police Master Sergeant Rey Iligan, desk officer of San Nicolas Police Station, said they will continue to try to identify the victim and look for his family.

Stabbing incident

Prior to the shooting incidents, an unidentified assailant stabbed John Ian Chan, also in this city.

A tricycle driver found his body in Sitio Upper Lanipao in Barangay Sapangdaku with a stab wound in the chest at about 11 pm on Sunday. Police found a real estate broker’s license on Chan.

A police official said they are looking for the family of the victim to help determine a motive for the stabbing.

The trend of multiple killings within 24-hour periods is not new. (READ: 3 killied in riding-in-tandem shootings in Metro Cebu

Human rights observers noted a rise in the number of unsolved killings in Cebu beginning in 2017 and 2018. Many of the victims had criminal records or were on the drug watch lists in the early days of Oplan Tokhang, which was launched in 2016.  (READ: Commission on Human Rights to probe Cebu killings)

Ex-Mayor Tomas Osmeña linked the rise in killings to former Central Visayas Regional Director Debold Sinas and retired Cebu City Police Office chief Royina Garma. (READ: Cebu killings rose after police chiefs came – Mayor Osmeña).

When President Rodrigo Duterte visited the Sinulog Festival for the first time in January, he repeated a claim he had first made in 2017 – without citing evidence – that Cebu is still a hot spot for drugs.  –

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.