MANILA, Philippines – A former police official of the Western Police District (now the Manila Police District) believes that the recent series of summary executions in Manila could be the work of law enforcers.
The police officer, who asked not to be named, called up The STAR to say that reports of bodies being found at the former Smokey Mountain dump remind him of the time when he was investigating a series of summary executions in different parts of the city in the 1990s.
“The style is almost the same. They kill the person, usually known criminals and recidivists, then dump the body somewhere else. These vigilantes would, most of the time, make sure that the public is well aware of what is happening. That’s why they tend to dramatize the killing… that’s the reason why they put tags like ‘holdaper ako (I’m a robber)’ on the victims,” he said.
The source – a celebrated police officer during his time – said there are pros and cons in being a vigilante.
“When you salvage criminals you instill fear in their minds. They begin to have second thoughts. For a time, it will lessen criminal activities in the area. But criminals will always be criminals. They will find ways to do their thing. That is when they become more aggressive on their victims. When they rob you they will… harm or even kill you because they know their lives are in danger,” he said, adding that criminals just commit crimes somewhere else when an area becomes “too hot” for them.
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