POLICE are keeping tight watch on at least five criminal syndicates in Western Visayas.
But Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police chief, did not reveal where these groups are operating.
“That’s for the whole of Region 6. Their number could increase as election nears,” he added.
Bulalacao said the five criminal syndicates are different from the five private armed groups (PAGs), which are also subject of police monitoring.
The region’s top cop made the revelation when asked about the number of murder incidents all over the region which spiked by 7 percent.
He said that these groups could be behind these murder incidents, especially those perpetrated by motorcycle-riding suspects (MRS).
“The challenge now is how to lower down murder incidents. We are particularly alarmed with murder incidents perpetrated by MRS,” Bulalacao said.
He said that the rise in murder incidents affected their performance on law enforcement
“While other crimes have gone down, we still have something to focus on,” he said.
The police intelligence community has been very vigorous in collecting information against these criminal syndicates.
“But we still don’t have evidence against them. We’re still monitoring their activities. So far, what we could do is to heighten our police presence,” Bulalacao said.
But lately, there’s been a number of activities that need police presence.
“Our tactical deployment is affected. Dito nakakasingit ang ating mga suspects,” he said.
“But let’s be practical about it. Kapag may intention ang isang tao na gawin ang isang bagay, by all means. Kung hindi nya magagawa ngayon, hindi nya magagawa bukas, but there will be a time na he can do it,” Bulalacao added.
“This opportunity is something that we should prevent through intelligence monitoring. We have deployed intelligence personnel but with a lot of personalities to look after to, it’s hard to cover all of them.”
The latest murder victim perpetrated by MRS was Barangay Captain Nelson Ligaya Jr. of Hernaiz Street, Barangay 16, Bacolod City who shot dead by riding-in-tandem gunmen 9:40 p.m. of Dec. 1, 2018.
Bulalacao said Ligaya was also on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) narco-list but they are eyeing financial problems as one of the motives for the killing.
In Iloilo City, all murder incidents perpetrated by MRS since September remain unsolved.
Senior Superintendent Martin Defensor, Iloilo City police chief, earlier admitted that they have a difficulty solving the incident because of lack, or absence, of witnesses that could identify the assailants.
Defensor said they must come up with solid and credible leads to solve the crimes.
But so far, “we’ve got no good leads,” he said.