SIX people have been killed in a span of five days in Talisay City.
Three bore marks of vigilante-style killings, while the other three were killed in a buy-bust on Thursday night in Sitio San Lucas, Barangay Biasong, Talisay City.
With the three successive killings by unknown perpetrators, Police Regional Office 7 Director Debold Sinas and the City Mayor of Talisay Gerald “Samsam” Gullas both quashed assumptions that vigilantes were behind the macabre killings.
On Friday morning, July 26, 2019, residents of Sitio Bogo, Barangay Campo 4, Talisay City woke up to the ghastly sight of a man tied to an electric post with his face wrapped with masking tape.
He was later identified as Jerh Sigue, 27, a welder and resident of Sitio Sombria, Lawaan II, Talisay City.
Sigue sustained several gunshot wounds in the different parts of his body. A placard was tied to his neck with the words “Undang na lagi mo og dili gani, kamo na isunod tulisan, drug pusher ug killer/drug lords.” (You had better stop or else you will be next. Robbers, drug pushers and killers/drug lords.)
His death was the second this week. On Monday, July 22, residents living under the bridge of Mananga II at the South Road Properties also woke up to the horrible sight of a dead man hanging from the bridge.
The victim was identified as 41-year-old Reynante Otero. He bore gunshot wounds in his body while his face was covered with a signage that read “Ayaw ko sunda, tulisan ko” (Don’t imitate me. I’m a thief). He was an alleged notorious robber in the area.
On Thursday, July 25, Jimbo Gadiano, 33, was also found dead. Lying face down and hogtied on a vacant lot in Barangay Lagtang, the body, though, did not bear any placard or warning statement.
Sinas and Gullas in separate interviews Friday, asserted that “there are no vigilantes in Talisay.”
Sinas said the three killings were related but were not acts of vigilantes.
“We are more inclined on the motive that this is a result of an internal dispute between members of a drug syndicate in Cebu. That group is now suspecting that they have members who are also agents of the police since their leaders were easily pinpointed,” he said.
Sinas said the killings of the three weare connected.
“This is related. All of them are involved in drugs. Sigue was also a suspect of a murder and homicide case. Jerh Sigue’s live-in partner, whom I will not name, was also the former mistress of Steve Go, who died in Mandaue City, which connects them there,” Sinas said.
“Go’s drug network was replaced by Girlie Luage, who died during a drug bust operation conducted by the Cebu Provincial Intelligence Branch,” he added.
Mandaue City Jail detainee Go was shot by another inmate in the middle of a betting game in June 2018.
Sinas said members of the drug syndicate are just trying to mislead the police’s investigation through the death of the three.
Sinas then said he already instructed Talisay City Police Chief Police Major Orlando Carag Jr. to file a case against their identified drug personalities before they would conduct a drug raid against them.
“We will dismantle this group. These are the desperate moves of their second layer leaders. We are checking and consolidating on their base,” he said.
He also said this group has contacts in Manila; however, he refused to divulge yet its identity pending the ongoing investigation.
As killings vigilante-style took place, three more were added to the list of suspected drug users and personalities who died in shootouts between the police and alleged drug suspects in Talisay City.
On Thursday, July 25, three died in a buy-bust in sitio San Lucas, Barangay Biasong.
They were identified as Vernabe Suello, Julie Daugdaug and his brother Anisito. Julie was the subject of the buy-bust.
Prior surveillance was conducted before the operation was conducted after police received reports of the rampant illegal activities in the area.
Gullas assured his constituents that the city is safe.
In a statement posted on his Facebook account, Gullas said he trusts that the City Police “will find the perpetrators of these murders.”
Gullas also praised the act of a concerned citizen in reporting the rampant illegal activities in the area.
“I take this as a good sign that our constituents are no longer afraid to take the risk of reporting illegal activities,” Gullas said.
Carag, for his part, warned Talisaynons and those who have illegal activities in the area that they will run after them and put them in prison.
“The City is peaceful for those who have no illegal activities. For those who have illegal activities, especially those who engage our police, we are ready to face them,” Carag said in a mix of Cebuano and Tagalog. (WBS/from FMD and AYB of SuperBalita Cebu/VLA)