Local authorities in Tagum City, Davao del Norte condemned the series of murders in the city in the past month, all of which were attributed to the various investment scams that thrived in the area.
Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales, director of Police Regional Office 11 (PRO-11), said in an interview on Friday the killings are linked to the investment schemes that began in Tagum City in the summer this year.
In August alone, at least seven killings in various parts of Tagum were reported, prompting Morales to direct newly installed police chief, Lt. Col. Ariel Acala, to implement tight security measures and manhunt against the suspects.
About three dozens of outfits ran the scam that defrauded investors in the get-rich-scheme that promised as high as 400% in returns on investments.
Almost all of the companies were closed in June following President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on dubious schemes.
“They have to be aggressive in all police operations and intensify anti-criminality programs implemented by PRO-11,” Morales said amid the spate of killings.
“I condemned these incidents. I myself wanted to protest against these investment scheme operators and give the money back to the investors,” he added.
On the other hand, Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon issued a statement on Thursday afternoon following the killing of Judylou Palas, reportedly a daughter of an investment firm agent.
Police said the death of Palas could be related to her mother’s job as a former agent of PLC investment firm, which offered high returns to investors before it went out of business in June.
“The act of violence that targeted the hapless individuals in Tagum City is barbaric, yet smacked of cowardice in view of the perpetrators’ perceived cloak of anonymity,” Rellon said.
Rellon ordered the Tagum City police to ensure that the perpetrators are caught and held liable for the crime.
“We enjoin the public to be vigilant especially during these trying times and to coordinate with the authorities in cases when information about crimes being committed or are about to be committed fall within their reach,” the mayor added. (with PNA report)