‘ALARMING OR NOT?’: PRO-6 orders thorough probe on Bacolod shootings as guv frets over killings

Rescuers respond to another shooting incident in Bacolod City, where a tricycle driver was gunned down in front of his teenage son during the birthday of the victim’s sister in Barangay 31 Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Police Station 6)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino and Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Local and police officials have different takes on the series of deadly shootings that plagued this city this month.

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said Monday that the shooting incidents in this city is “starting to be alarming.”

Lacson issued the statement as he confirmed that the top officials of the Philippine National Police in the province and this city are set to meet to discuss how to address the situation.

But the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 said the situation is not alarming yet.

Lieutenant Colonel Arnel Solis, PRO-6 spokesperson, said the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) is on top of the situation.

Solis said the cases are manageable and despite the recent shootings, crime incidents did not increase.

As of June 20, nine shooting incidents were reported here, with the latest case on Sunday night, wherein a tricycle driver was killed in front his 14-year-old son during the birthday of the victim’s sister in Barangay 31.

The latest victim was 38-year-old Christofer Guanzon, of Barangay Taculing here, who had surrendered to the police through Oplan Tokhang in 2017.

Guanzon was shot in the head and later died at a hospital here.

According to Major Leo Estopa, head of Police Station 6, police recovered from the victim a sachet of suspected shabu while he was being treated at the hospital.

Police said the victim reportedly came from Barangay 27 here, before he went to his sister’s birthday. Thus, police suspected that the victim may have been tailed by the lone perpetrator who was riding a motorcycle.

Lacson said that the meeting of the police officials in the city and the province is just a start of the working relationship between the provincial and the city government.

“We will work together in the next three years,” Lacson said.

He added that the coordination between the city and provincial police officials is important.

“While the situation in the city has not greatly affected us but I think this should be discussed and find solution to these incidents that is starting to be alarming,” Lacson added.

Incoming Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez said that he will review the performance of the BCPO leadership when asked by reporters if he will change the current police chief.


The case of Guanzon was the first incident this week, according to the police.

Estopa said they are assessing the manner and the modus of the perpetrators in all incidents to check if there’s a pattern that could be linked to the other incidents.

Each police station has a reported shooting incident this month.

The first incident happened on June 1 in Barangay Sum-ag under Police Station 9, where two individuals were wounded. The suspect was arrested and was charged.

It was followed by another incident in Barangay Alangilan under Police Station 5, where a caretaker of a private property was killed on June 5. Police eyed work-related or grudges as motive.

Three days later, a man suspected to be a police asset was also gunned down in Barangay 35 under Police Station 1, on June 8.

Under the same police station, another shooting occurred killing a tricycle driver in Barangay 13 on June 11.

On June 14, a Chinese businessman was shot dead in Barangay 5, under Police Station 2, wherein police eyed property dispute within the family as motive.

Two days later, an alleged drug personality was also killed in Barangay Singcang-Airport on June 16, under Police Station 8.

The following day, a man was also killed in Barangay Banago, under Police Station 3, on June 17. Police earlier said that the victim was mistaken as a police asset by a lone gunman.

Over the weekend, a policeman also wounded two civilians in a shooting incident in Barangay 26, under Police Station 4 on June 19.

With these incidents, Solis said that Brigadier General Flynn Dongbo, PRO-6 director, directed the BCPO to thoroughly investigate these cases.

“Kung may evidence, arrest the suspects and file airtight cases against them,” Solis said.

Solis said there’s no timeline for police to solve these cases, as there are cases that might take some time to be resolved.

Solis said these cases may be considered isolated.

Despite these cases, Solis said there’s no need to add personnel to the BCPO, as policemen in Western Visayas were divided properly per province and city police offices.

Solis said that Dongbo also ordered the city police force to maximize police visibility.

Solis appealed to the people to help the police in crime prevention. “Active man sila dapat, kay dako ila role especially in reporting suspicious individuals or activities in their areas,” Solis said.

Meanwhile, Colonel Thomas Joseph Martir, BCPO director, said the BCPO will conduct random checkpoint operations against motorcycle-riding individuals or “riding in tandem” here, following series of shooting incidents this month.

Martir said they are intensifying their campaign against “riding in tandems” since most of the cases were perpetrated by persons on motorcycles.

In fact, Martir said they are not discounting the possibility that perpetrators may be hired gunmen.

“We will be focusing on how to prevent these incidents,” Martir said, adding that they are trying their best to resolve these cases.

Martir noted that the incidents were not related. He said that two incidents were drug-related, citing the cases in Barangays Singcang-Airport and Banago.

Despite these incidents, Martir said that police have already identified the suspects and are preparing the filing of charges against them.