CONTRACT-KILLING OR USING gun-for-hires has become a virtual industry in the country, especially in Metro Manila.
Individuals or groups kill for a fee, ranging from a low of P5,000 to a high of hundreds of thousands of pesos.
Contract killers who accept cheap fees are mostly drug addicts, while those who demand hundreds of thousands up to a million are professionals.
We are not as interested in the drug addict-amateurs, but in the professionals.
The amateur hired killers are easily caught after a hit job, while the professionals remain free as long as the police don?t go after them in earnest.
It seems the Philippine National Police (PNP) is not so interested in going after hired killers as much as the people who hired them.
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Illegal drugs are easily available in the streets because there are many pushers and traffickers.
If pushers and traffickers are sent to jail or killed, drugs won?t be easily available to drug users.
And so it is with gun-for-hire groups. Efforts should be made to catch them so persons looking for killers of their personal enemies, business or political rivals will be deprived of a market.
As long as the PNP doesn?t go after hired guns, there will always be a market for contract killers.
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Contract killings have again surfaced in the news with the assassination of ?jueteng? whistle-blower Wilfredo ?Boy? Mayor last Sunday.
Another high-profile personality who was ambushed by hired killers was retired police Senior Supt. Wally Sombero last year.
Luckily, Sombero survived the ambush.
A lesser known personality, a guy named Boy Tangkad, who was allegedly a jueteng bagman of some police officials, was killed by hired guns last year in what was believed to be a case of onsehan or double-cross.
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A police officer, whose expertise is intelligence work, says contract killings can be stopped if the PNP, other law enforcement agencies and military intelligence groups band together to go after the hired guns.
The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the various military intelligence units already have a profile of a hired gun.
?The major players in the gun-for-hire business are assets of the military, the PNP, bodyguards of politicians, former rebels, dismissed soldiers and policemen, former members of Cafgu and released prisoners,? said the police intelligence officer.
Gun-for-hire groups know other groups much like a kidnapping syndicate, for instance, knows about the activities of other kidnap-for-ransom gangs.
So if the police catch one gun-for-hire group, they will likely catch the other groups in a domino-like effect.
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But the PNP is like the proverbial nail which doesn?t penetrate a piece of wood if it?s not hit with a hammer in the head.
The PNP is reactive, not proactive. It goes after a criminal after a crime has been committed, instead of preventing a crime from happening.
Before another contract killing of a high-profile personality takes place, the police should now go after all gun-for-hire syndicates hammer and tongs.
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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has disqualified Vetallano Acosta who is running for president after he said that he was leaving it to God to campaign for him, adding that the country is still a US colony.
Why did it take the poll body this long to disqualify him?
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Retired Supreme Court Justice Dante Tinga, who?s running for mayor of Taguig, influenced a judge into dismissing a drug-pushing charge against two of his relatives, according to a drug enforcement agent.
If the charge is true, then all the decisions Tinga made as a justice of the high court could be tainted and he could have been influenced by other people when he wrote his decisions.
The next time, candidates for the high tribunal should not come from the ranks of politicians.