FROM JANUARY TO APRIL 2017: Reg’l PNP chief orders probe of 121 shooting cases in Bicol
By Jorge Hallare LEGAZPI CITY --- The head of the Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5) last week ordered the Regional Investigation Division or R7 to investigate the cases of shooting incidents in the Bicol region, that to date have reached 121 from January to April this year. “Chief Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, director of PRO 5, has ordered the Regional Investigation Division or R7 headed by Sr. Supt. Ronald Briones to investigate the 121 shooting incidents recorded in the region from January 1 to April 26,” according to Sr. Insp. Ma. Luisa Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson. She said part of the investigation would determine if the incidents were drug-related or if loose firearms were used. Of the 121 cases, 108 involved male victims while 13 were female, according to Calubaquib. “There were 71 killed, 38 wounded, while 12 others were unharmed in the said shooting incidents,” she added. Calubaquib said Masbate province topped the list with 43 cases, followed by Albay with 28, Camarines Sur with 22, Sorsogon with 15, Camarines Norte with10, Naga City Police Office with 2 and Catanduanes with 1. Naga, a chartered component city, is the only city in Bicol with its own police office unlike the other 6 cities which are under the jurisdiction of their respective provincial police offices. Calubaquib said probers are also looking into those hours when the shooting incidents occurred. “Did they occur when there were not so many people around?” she added. R7’s data show 14 percent of the 121 cases occurred between 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. while another 10 percent, at around 10:00 p.m. The same records show 8.5 percent occurred from 9:00-9:30 a.m.; 8 percent from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.; 8 percent from 9:00-9:30 p.m.; and 7 percent from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. R7 added that 6 percent occurred at 1:30 a.m. while 4.6 percent happened from 2:30-3:30 p.m. “We are still investigating why these incidents occurred within these period of time, who are these victims, who are the suspects and the motive behind these cases,” said Calubaquib. She said many factors are being considered in the investigation but all the possibilities must be known so the cases could be solved and also to “preempt” an increase in the number of victims.