PNP R-1 forms group to probe extra-judicial killings

DEATHS UNDER INVESTIGATION

LINGAYEN—The police regional office has formed a unit group to conduct probes on suspected summary executions and alleged extra-judicial killings being linked to the government’s war on drugs.

P/Sr. Superintendent Ronald Lee, acting police provincial director, told local newsmen in a forum Thursday that shooting incidents perpetrated by unknown suspects are classified as “deaths under investigation”.

The group formed by the regional office will be headed by P/Supt. Jackie Candelario, deputy police director for operation, Lee said.

Meanwhile, he said his office has began its own separate investigation on the alleged extra-judicial killings including the death of Rowena Tiamson, a college scholar in Dagupan City whose hogtied body was found in Manaoag, Pangasinan last month.

He added that the National Bureau of Investigation is also conducting its own probe on Tiamson’s killing which has reached the Senate.

Lee said the PNP does not tolerating such killings. “Vigilante killings must not happen,” he added. He maintained police operatives are fully aware that they must observe legal processes.

He said all reported summary executions particularly those that showed patterns of leaving messages on cardboards identifying the victims as drug pushers.

“It’s very easy to place such tags but these could also be a ploy of the suspects to divert the attention of the police and the public,” he added.

He said the empty shells and slugs and firearms recovered in those killings have been submitted to Crime Laboratory for deeper probe.

Meanwhile, Fourth District Rep. Christopher de Venecia also expressed alarm over Tiamson’s killing in his privilege speech Friday, Tiamson, being his constituent from Dagupan City.

“She was collateral damage to the activities of a so-called Dagupan and Pangasinan Death Squad who have taken upon themselves to extract their own brand of justice by way of extra-judicial killings,” De Venecia said. (Tita Roces)