Tagum mayor wants more cops to stamp out crime | Inquirer News

Tagum mayor wants more cops to stamp out crime

/ 05:15 AM April 29, 2023

Tagum mayor wants more cops to stamp out crime

DUMPED Local health workers move the body of Nike Andyriana Kassim, 18, who was found dead on April 25 at a grassy area at Purok Pine Tree, Barangay Magugpo North, Tagum City, Davao del Norte. She had been missing since April 22. PHOTO COURTESY OF RUEL DAGSANGAN

TAGUM CITY—The local government here has asked for the Philippine National Police to augment law enforcing units in this capital city of Davao del Norte province following last week’s separate abduction and murder of two girls that left residents in shock.

“I have requested the police regional office for an additional 40 police personnel for Tagum. I will reiterate this request when we meet with the regional director next week,” said Mayor Rey Uy.


Uy also asked residents to stay vigilant as “we don’t know when these criminals will strike.”


Tagum, a booming city of about 300,000 residents, has 140 police personnel, which means one policeman for every 2,100 people.

Most victims of previous killings in Tagum were robbery and drug suspects, so the murder of the girls, aged 9 and 18, came as a shock to the local community.

Uy was also worried about the resurgence of the illegal drug trade, with police and antinarcotics agents carrying out anti-drug operations in the city almost on a weekly basis.

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Trading of illicit drugs, which used to be rampant in the city, was almost unheard of during the “war on drugs” of the Duterte administration but this returned last year, officials said.

“I’m calling on the parents to look after their children and other members of their family so they will not get into drugs. Let’s be careful,” Uy said.

Police Col. Antonio Alberio Jr., the provincial police chief, said the two incidents were unrelated. He also urged residents to keep minors indoors at night.


Around 2 p.m. last Tuesday, the body of Nike Andyriana Kassim, 18, was found at a grassy lot at Purok Pine Tree, Sitio Suaybaguio, Magugpo North village, three days after she was last seen inside a convenience store in the same village on Saturday night.

READ: Missing 18-year-old girl found dead in Tagum City, Davao del Norte

Kassim, a Grade 12 student of La Filipina National High School and a stay-in worker at a local spa, sent on Saturday a text message to a coworker asking for help, saying she was being sexually assaulted in Suaybaguio. But her fellow attendants told police they ignored Kassim’s message as she had been known for her pranks. Authorities had yet to release the results of Kassim’s autopsy.

Kassim’s abduction came after that of Monalisa Pagharion, 9, whose decomposing body was found in a secluded grassy area near the Apokon Elementary School on April 20. The Grade 1 pupil failed to come home after taking her younger sister to the school’s Kindergarten class at 6:30 a.m. on April 17.

Citing autopsy results, Uy said Pagharion was sexually abused before being killed.

According to Uy, witnesses had pointed to a nonresident as the suspect.

Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib said he was “deeply alarmed” by the killings and has asked the provincial board to investigate the killings.

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“The cold-blooded and brutal murders of our fellow Dabaonons, especially young women, have left the entire province in a state of shock and mourning,” Jubahib said in a statement posted on social media.

TAGS: Crime, Killing, Tagum

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