The Negros Oriental police said yesterday that investigators are looking at the possible links to the illegal drugs trade of the recent shooting incidents in the province.
Senior Supt. Henry Biñas, officer-in-charge of the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office, however, declined to expound on which of the cases are connected to the illegal drugs trade, and only said that police investigators are conducting a thorough investigation.
He said three shooting incidents have been reported in the province since he took over as OIC last week.
The latest shooting incidents that took place during the weekend were reported in Bacong and Vallehermoso, police reports show.
In Bacong, a police report said a concerned citizen reported to the police that at around 4:30 a.m. yesterday, a male person was found bathed in his own blood and lying on the road in Barangay Isugan.
The victim was estimated to be around 30 years old.
Responding police recovered three empty shells of a .45 caliber revolver, one slug of a .45 caliber revolver, and one empty shell of a 9mm pistol.
Resident Abundio Ellorin told the police he heard three consecutive bursts of gunfire around 80 meters away from the crime scene.
In Vallehermoso, the farthest town of Negros Oriental in the north, a police report said that at around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, a certain Faustino Acabo, along with the wounded victim, Nante Peloriano Plaza, 38, married and a resident of Sitio Malabo, Barangay Pinocawan of that town, appeared at the police station to ask for assistance regarding a shooting incident.
Police investigation showed that while the two were on their way home from the flea market, and upon reaching the house of the suspect, the latter shot Plaza two times, and hit him on his head.
The victim was brought to the Vallehermoso Rural Health Center but was transferred later to the Guihulngan District Hospital for further medical attention.
The suspect was not identified as of this writing.
Last week, an ex-policeman, who was on Absent without Leave status, was gunned down in Barangay Bagacay in Dumaguete City.
He was identified as Dennis Veruasa, who went AWOL following his assignment in Camotes Island, and was allegedly in the drugs list but police investigators did not say whether his death was linked to the government's massive campaign against illegal drugs.
Biñas, meanwhile, said he has ordered the police chiefs to intensify the conduct of checkpoints and undertake other police interventions with the surge of shooting incidents in the province.
He could not say whether the series of shooting incidents is an indication of the proliferation of loose firearms in the province.
Except for the Vallehermoso shooting case that police have disclosed as triggered by personal grudge, the incidents in Bacong and Dumaguete are now being eyed as possibly drug-related.*JFP
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