This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
CAGAYAN DE ORO – The Catholic prelate in Tandag City urged the Philippine National Police to solve the killings in Surigao del Sur, which had left 46 people dead, including students, retired soldiers, traders, and even faith healers.
Tandag City Bishop Raul Dael expressed concern that most of the killings were done by the perpetrators even in broad daylight “in the middle of busy streets and commercial areas.”
“It is unfortunate that many of these killings remain unsolved as the principal suspects are either at large or unknown,” Dael said in a pastoral letter issued on Tuesday, April 4.
“We call for the speedy investigation and resolution of this array of killing incidents to reclaim the peace of mind, order, and security of our communities,” he said.
Dael said the unsolved killings have perpetuated fear and anguish among the families of the victims and the residents of Surigao del Sur.
The prelate urged local town mayors to implement, or revisit, their peace and order programs and help curb the killings in their communities.
Dael reminded government officials of their duty in relation to “the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life,” as enshrined in the Philippine Constitution.
“The rising number of killings reached 46 from August last year to January this year, not counting the incidents from February to March this year,“ he said.
Dael said he based his report on the unsolved killings from Caraga police chief Brigaider General Pablo Labra II who furnished him the data.
In his report, Labra said 33 suspects were still at large while 11 had been arrested. He said 39 of the 46 cases were already at the Prosecutors Office while six cases were still under investigation.
Dael also addressed the faithful, saying, “As Christians, we cannot be passive and silent bystanders to any wrongdoing, especially when it harms the dignity of human life. Our stand for life is rooted in our faith in the Son of God who became man and died for all humanity.”
Meanwhile, a lawyers’ group assailed the police command in Surigao del Sur for ordering the “profiling“ of lawyers representing cases involving suspected communist rebels.
The Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) singled out Surigao del Sur police director Col. Dennis Siruno for allegedly ordering his men to profile Provincial Attorney’s Office (PAO) lawyer Carol Anne General for acting as court-appointed counsel in several cases involving rebels.
UPLM Secretary General Beverly Musni said Siruno also allegedly ordered the police station in Lianga town, Surigao del sur to monitor other lawyers including UPLM local chapter head, Atty. Antonio “Tonyboy” Azarcon; PAO provincial director, Atty. Poreferio Baluran and another PAO lawyer, Leodevico Avila.
Musni said that Azarcon has already been “harassed” by police operatives who made several visits at their family resort, his house and office in Lianga City.
In interviews with local reporters, Siruno said most of the victims in the killings were rebel returnees who availed with the surrender program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
He said the killers were identified as operatives of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army in Surigao del Sur. – Rappler.com