Spate of killing public enemies in Bohol actually traced back to a time prior to the Duterte administration pointing to a vigilante group as engineers of the handiwork.
Handiwork of riding in tandem killing, mostly, drug personalities and robbery suspects even sparked unsolicited theories that a vigilante group had been aiding the police all the while in ridding the province of public enemy figures.
While it had been repeatedly dismissed by authorities, the recent disclosure of Negros Oriental acting police director confirming participation of vigilante groups in getting rid of drug personalities to aid law enforcers sparked anew the vigilante theory in Bohol scenario.
Here, a classified information had it that indeed well-meaning residents, even those not directly affected by spills of drug menace, volunteered to raise funds to support the routine of a tight vigilante group to help law enforcers who have been restrained by the legal process.
Killing drug personalities during police operations even requires the subject to manifest resistance to arrest or sufficient provocation to prompt the police team to shoot the subject. The police team often had to elaborate on the reason to subdue the subject of the operation.
This allegedly fueled the initiative of a vigilante group, even oblivious to the police, to go out of their way in desperation to get rid of the public enemies who often proved smarter in exploiting the due process, according to the classified information.
With the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte warranting killing of drug personalities, the latest score in the campaign against illegal drugs mostly resulted to the death of the subject of police operation.
The latest prominent figure tagged in the illegal drugs trade to get killed was one Sherwin Bautista.
His broad daylight ambush by a riding in tandem shocked the city at around 7 a.m. on July 7 at a corner near Tiptip Elementary School across the barangay hall of Tiptip, minutes after the victim had dropped off his daughter to school then accompanied by the mother.Â (see separate story)
Â Bautistaâ€™s name had earlier been associated with the arrests of two drug personalities in August 2014, one identified as Christopher Pecolados.
Pecolados allegedly worked for Bautista, and was caught in a raid in Inabanga.Â He was killed by riding in tandem in October 2014.
Also in August 2014, cops in Calape arrested Pecoladosâ€™ brother- -Ruben- -in a raid and had been linked to Bautista.
The arrest of the Pecolados brothers had been recorded in a string of 15 police operations conducted in the last week of July 2014.
Others arrested in the week-long score included Francisco Anthony Ladera in an operation in barangay Canlusong in Valencia, Roy Rivera in Dauis,Â Generoso Pala in Loon, Teodulo Salig in Bilar, Renerio Badinas in Ubay, Wilson Anil in Guindulman, Jehel Olivar in Loay, Mario Pahang in Tagbilaran, three persons associated with a subject of a raid in Talibon- -Ferdinand Credo who managed to elude arrest, Gilbert Pacatang in Loboc whose companion who was the subject- -Jay Colina- -had escaped, Ringo Balio in Loboc, Zemboy Butlay in Candijay, and Socias and Rosalito Paden in Bien Unido.
Killing drug personalities had been remote in police operations then.
InÂ succeeding events, however, the shadow of vigilante-type executions took over police operations.
In a recent case, riding in tandem shot one Jonas Arocha, a 34-year-oldÂ a star player of Maribojoc basketball team allegedly involved in illegal drugs late night on June 16. The responding police team rushed Arocha toÂ Maribojoc Community Hospital but he wasÂ declared dead on arrival.
In mid-2015, spate of shooting incidents victimizing police characters invited the picture of vigilante at work.
Since all the gunmen in the shooting incidents remain at large, it drew suspicions that a vigilante group inspired by the Davao Death Squad stepped in to send a message.
One of the victims, a 16-year-old minor, Steve Bulatete, resident ofÂ Hontanosas Extension in Poblacion 3, this city,Â had been tagged in stealing a service firearm of a security guard. The victim had also been the suspect in earlier cases of carnapping.
It was in the latter part of August last year when the victimâ€™s parents accompanied him to the police station to turn over the stolen firearm and they had just reached the area along Plaza Rizal after leaving the police station when riding in tandem shot him dead.
In earlier cases, most of the victims were suspected drug runners who had been suspected of incurring delinquencies in their remittance of the sale from drugs.
In another case in the same month, riding in tandem also shot dead a 36-year-old securitu guard, Agalito Fabiosa, a resident of barangay San Isidro, Calape at the townâ€™s public market.
Also in the same month in Clarin, riding in tandem shot another man, Dominador Arcales- -also known as “Jay-R”, a 23-year-old resident of barangay Bacani, Clarin.
Barely a week earlier,Â another suspected drug personality had been shot dead by riding in tandem at past midnight on August 21 in Talibon. The victim was identified as Rolando Insila, a 33-year-old resident of Purok 5 in barangay San Jose, Talibon, who was one of those tagged in the murder of then Ubay chief of police George CaÃ±a.
At around 9:30 p.m. on August 13, another alleged drug personality identified as one William Tan Velez, also known as â€œGudoâ€, a 34-year-old native of barangay Upper Dela Paz in Cortes was shot dead at the roadside of Tamblot St., near the corner of B. Inting St.
In the series of shooting incident recorded in August last year,Â one of the victims survived- -a suspect in theft and robbery cases identified as Emmanuel Padua, also known as â€œTagalogâ€, a 33-year-old native of Talisayan inÂ DasmariÃ±as Cavite and was temporarily residing at Calceta St. in barangay Cogon, Tagbilaran City. An unidentified man shot him late night ofÂ August 17 at corner Lessage and GallaresÂ Sts. in Poblacion 2, Tagbilaran City. Police recovered sachets of shabu and some drug paraphernalia from the victim. He fled the hospital where he was recuperating three days later.
In June last year,Â one more alleged drug personality- -Rey Abello Baynas- -got killed by an unidentified gunman in front of a lotto outlet along CPG North Avenue.
A man known to his wife as a drug user, one Rey Abello Baynas, a 38-year-old native of barangay Cambiohan in Danao City, Cebu, was shot at around 7:30 p.m. on June 22 last year along CPG North Avenue in barangay Booy, Tagbilaran City.
The shooting incident came after another one recorded in the evening of July 14 inside an eatery beside the Camp Dagohoy compound wherein police intelligence info showed that the name of the 37-year-old victim, Reynaldo Pocoy- -a resident of Poblacion 3 in Tagbilaran, appeared in the bluebook recovered from a drug personality, Artemio Tare Jr.–who got killed in August 2014.
Tare was killed by cops at a checkpoint in Guindulman two days after killing a cop who joined a team that swooped down an alleged drug den at sitio Ubos of Poblacion 1, this city.
As of the first half of 2015, Bohol already posted 43 shooting incidents counted since the month of March. The record showedÂ 11 shooting incidents in March, 14 in April, 14 in May and four in the first half of June that year where 27 of the victims died and 17 survived.
Most of the cases had been tagged as drug-related wherein it had been theorized by the police that most of the victims had been delinquent in the remittance of the proceeds from the sale of shabu. In some cases, those who incurred balance in their remittance of procceds from shabu shifted allegiance to another group.
A survivor of a shooting incident on June 9, 2015, identified as Condrado Bragat, a 45-year-old dental technician and a resident of J. S. Torralba St. in Poblacion 3, had reportedly disclosed the involvement of the recently arrested drug personality, Jade Delusa.
Among the shooting casualties in 2015 were Pio John Aceron, a 26-year-old resident of Visarra St., Tagbilaran City; Edilberto Cabardo Jr., a 34-year-old resident of barangay Luyo, Inabanga; Joshua Felisilda, a 23-year-old resident ofÂ Can-Upao Jagna who got killed in the month of February.
Two drug personalities were also shot dead in the afternoon of November 22, 2014 in Jagna- -Ramil Bernadez, a 34-year-old resident of barangay Bunga Mar and Ruel Opada, also 34, married and resident of barangay Ipil.
Also in November 2014,Â one Pabias Villamor Jr., a known drug personality, was shot dead in barangay Luyo, Inabanga.
In January this year, an unidentified gunman shotÂ aÂ police character identified as Ian Christopher Capa, the 30-year-old brother of Artemio Capa Tare Jr. who was slain in August 2014 while evading the cops hunting him down after killing a cop during a botched raid in sitio Ubos of Poblacion 1, this city. Christopher, however, survived.
In the police record, the victim had a criminal record in May 2013 for violating Presidential Decree 1619 thatÂ penalizes â€œthe use or possession or the unauthorized sale to minors of volatile substances for the purpose of inducing intoxication or in any manner changing, distorting or disturbing the auditory, visual or mental processâ€.
His other brother, Edwin Tare- -who had allegedly been involved in illegal drugs activities- -was killed in September 2014, with a friend, Richie Campanilla in barangay Taloto while travelling on a stolen motorcycle.
Their other brother, Oliver Tare, was also arrested inÂ May last year for violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Artemio and Edwin allegedly worked for a big-time drug personality,Â TyroneÂ Animas- -who was arrested in September 2014 during a hot pursuit barely a week after fleeing from a buy-bust operation at Palma St., this city.
Animasâ€™ brother, Kent- -who had been out on bail for a drug case- -was killed in November last year outside an apartment his gang had rented in barangay Tiptip by pursuing cops who were responding to a report of robbery.
A breakaway member of Artemioâ€™s group, Erwin CaÃ±ete, was arrested in a buy-bust operation in October 2014.
InÂ recent score in the campaign against illegal drugs, the police team of Ubay had killed one Mario Ramos, a resident of barangay Tapon, Ubay in a shootout past 9 p.m. on July 4.
Ramos allegedly fired his gun upon sensing that he had been trapped in a buy-bust operation that night, prompting the police team to subdue him.
In another police operation,Â the Provincial Intelligence Branch, led byÂ Senior Insp. Jojit Mananquil,Â killed suspected drug pushers identified as one Karlvin Licong, a 26-year-old resident of Torero Private Road near Tamblot St., and one Marvin Rivas, a 22-year-old resident of Gasanai Subdivision in barangay Cogon.
Mananquilâ€™s team conducted a buy-bust operation against the two in the afternoon of June 30 at the lobby of a pension house along Tamblot St. extension.
Licong and Rivas sensed that they were dealing with cops and hurried inside the room they had checked in to get their firearms under the mattress, but the cops pursued them, resulting to a shootout.
In an earlier buy-bust operation on June 19 at Pamaong St. in Tagbilaran City, oneÂ Rogaciano â€œTanoâ€ Omus Jr., was killed when he resisted arrest and fired at the cops.
A police operation on June 18 in barangay Lourdes, Panglao also resulted to a shootout where theÂ suspected drug runner who resisted arrest in a buy-bust operation was killed.
The slain drug personality was identified as one Rico Hernani, a 40-year-old jobless resident of barangay Lourdes in Panglao who is a native of Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur.
In another buy-bust operation at around 9 p.m. on July 6 in barangay Tawala, Panglao, the police team had killed oneÂ Teofanes Mijos Jr.
Mijos allegedly fired several shots at the police officers after the buy-bust transaction, prompting the police team to subdue him, but he was hit on fatal points and died.
The police team arrested three of his cohorts who were caught in the act of repacking shabu- -Maximino Caerlang, Rodjay Basulgan, and Omar Dave Cuyam.