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By Francis Allan L. Angelo


TOP Ilonggo officials challenged the Iloilo City Police Office to solve the rash of killings in the city even as they assured that the metropolis remains peaceful and orderly.


Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. said he is concerned with the recent spate of murder cases in the city the past weeks.


The latest incident is the assassination of Iloilo provincial fire marshal Casiano del Castillo who was gunned down in Arevalo, Iloilo City Friday last week.


Del Castillo was walking home in Land Heights Subdivision in Arevalo when two motorcycle-riding suspects shot him to death.


Prior to del Castillo’s killing, American national Daniel John Chabra was stabbed to death inside his apartment also in Arevalo.


Eddie Pedrajas, believed to be a relative of a suspected drug lord in the city, was also gunned down in Jaro district more than a week ago.


Gonzalez said he has directed Senior Supt. Bartolome Tobias, ICPO director, to heighten their operations and resolve the three incidents.


“I want results when I come back next Saturday. I will not allow the peace and quiet of the city to be disturbed,” Gonzalez said.


The justice department said he will also discuss the peace and order situation in the city with Police Regional Office-6 director Isagani Cuevas.


Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said the metropolis is still peaceful and orderly despite the gruesome killings.


Treñas said it is up to Tobias to do his best to solve the cases.


Meanwhile, the Arevalo police continues to deepen their investigation on the del Castillo slay case.

Chief Inspector Federico Silvestre, Arevalo police chief, said one of the angles they are following is del Castillo’s spat with his colleagues at the Bureau of Fire Prevention.


Silvestre said the del Castillo’s wife revealed some information to them relative to the intra-office dispute involving the slain fire official.


The Arevalo police have profiled del Castillo’s shooter based on eyewitness accounts. The suspect is believed to be a former security guard and a native of Maasin, Iloilo who has standing warrants of arrest of various criminal charges.


But Silvestre said they are continue to establish the identity and involvement of the suspect in the slay case “because this is a heinous crime and we want to make sure of our case.”


“If we make a mistake, it would be hard for us to start from square one,” he added.


Secretary Gonzalez said he also received information on the squabble between del Castillo and other BFP officials.


Gonzalez said issues of corruption, personal grudge and professional rivalry may have something to do with del Castillo’s death.

“I already gave the lead to Cuevas, Tobias and the National Bureau of Investigation. It is up to them to develop their case,” Gonzalez added. 

August 2008

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