There is something’s going on in Dipolog City, the capital of Zamboanga del Norte in the North Western Mindanao area which has deeply disturbed her constituents and have questioned the ability of its leaders to combat the growing criminality thereat.
Once a peaceful, scenic and historic city being just approximately 15 kilometers south of Dapitan, the place of exile to our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. But her serene and peaceful image have slowly transformed the city into a killing field, and a disturbed peace and order wracked by robberies unsolved killings and the rising general condition of criminal activity.
The city transformed over time by a disturbing pattern of senseless killings. Our source told us that since 2012 liquidation type murders mowed down more than hundreds of individuals most of them carried out in broad daylight, a phenomenon that had never happened in the city since she became chartered in 1970 and as Zamboanga del Norte’s capital.
All of these killings were unsolved, and no perpetrators identified, and no leads of crimes were pursued and worst, the city and provincial leadership just ignored it as if nothing has happened.
The eerie silence by the local government officials, which is now being governed by the couple Roberto and Evelyn Uy, the husband now the governor and the wife as the long time mayor has made residents uneasy fueling speculations that the killings and robberies and other disturbing criminality were the offshoot of their close association of the discredited but untouchable PNP official Sr. Supt. Reynaldo Maclang.
Maclang despite a string of criminal complaints filed by well-meaning Dipolog and Zamboanga del Norte residents is still well within the confines of PNP bosses’ protectorate. Suspicions are ripe that he enjoys protection from unseen forces within the Philippine National Police national level and the Department of Interior and Local Government. He is still on active duty and never reprimanded nor being investigated or prosecuted from the government investigating arms such as the Department of Justice and the Human Rights Commission. Some of the charges filed against Maclang that gather dusts in the DOJ desk are Grave abuse of authority, human rights violations and Torture.
Last year Maclang as the LP choice as OIC PNP provincial director disturbed the province and the two cities of Dipolog and Dapitan by his daring acts of political antics displaying clearly his bias to the Liberal Party candidates. He was accused by local politicians of instigating political persecution to non- Liberal Party candidates. Despite having loosely-organized campaigns and no believable barangay-level organizations, the LP sweeps political victory in last year’s elections in the province. The phenomenon is hard to grasp since established politicians have entrenched political influence to a grassroots level. The outcome of said elections was highly controversial even raising more suspicions of terrorism and fraud as the mantle of their winning strategy.
He was accused of going soft with LP barangay leaders and harassed those who were at the other side of the political fence.
Despite pleas from the UNA headed by former congressman Cesar Jalosjos, who was the chairman of UNA and himself the gubernatorial candidate to the PNP and DILG leadership– in the run up to elections it fell in deaf ears. And Maclang was made an effective tool of political terrorism, the gravity, shamelessness and clarity of bias were untold.
Residents believe that some shadowy characters suspected of undertaking the string of murders and robberies in the city are remnants of Maclang’s men who now lorded it over the hapless residents and themselves becoming untouchables since officials now running the local governments are their political patrons.
Concerned city residents now asked, does the Uy political clan being beholden by these shadowy characters that they can’t lift a finger to stop the rising criminality in the city? Or are they just incapable of solving this fast becoming scourge that hounded residents. And as of this time complainants against Maclang hoped that the Malacanang occupant would intervene in their behalf and finally prosecute the culprits that have pervaded injustice in this city of smiling people.
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