Spate of GenSan killings bother residents

Edwin G. Espejo
The killings give the city a bad name, businessmen say

Photo by Francis Canlas

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – In a span of two weeks, 13 people have been killed and two wounded in 15 shooting incidents that continue to baffle the police and residents here.

The latest victim was a vegetable vendor who was shot by an unidentified gunman at the Reyes satellite public market at 1 am Monday, June 10. The gunman immediately fled on a motorcycle accompanied by a getaway driver.

A witness said the gunman was also accompanied by a woman who served as a lookout. The same witness told ABS-CBN TV Patrol Socskargen that the gunman was wearing a bullcap and covered his face with a handkerchief.

A few hours later, a customer at a karaoke bar was seriously wounded after he was shot by an unknown suspect. A female driver of the getaway motorcycle was said to have acted as a customer before her companion shot one Alexander Unsang in the face. The victim was rushed to the hospital.

On Saturday, June 8, a tricycle driver was also shot by a gunman. Investigators said the killing was probably motivated by power play within a tricycle drivers’ group.

Last week, 3 people were killed within hours of each other.

General Santos City Police Office director Senior Supt. Froilan Quidilla said they have already identified the suspect in at least one of the killings but expressed dismay over the reported refusal of witnesses to come forward and identify suspects in other killings.


Quidilla also said most of the killings were drug-related, based on their initial investigation. 

Quidilla said he warned city police station commanders that they will be relieved from their posts if the killings continue in their area of responsibility.

The city police director is a veteran commander of international peace keeping forces that have seen action in Bosnia and East Timor.

More than 200 people have already been killed in the city since 2002, at the height of a a turf war among drug dealers and suppliers.

It coincided with the assignment of the late Supt. Efren Alcuizar, who headed the local Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Alcuizar was however a controversial figure in the anti-drug campaign and was linked to the kidnapping of a daughter of a Davao City car dealer.

He was killed under mysterious circumstances several years ago.

Former General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Manuel Yaphockun said the unsolved killings are giving the city a bad image.

He urged the police to immediately solve the killings to allay fears of residents they could be the next target. –


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