Man gunned down outside Caloocan cathedral
MANILA— A tricycle driver was gunned down by two unidentified men in front the San Roque Cathedral in Caloocan City before dawn on Friday.
Using information from witness accounts, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan said the victim was shot dead by unidentified riding in tandem while waiting for passengers before the start of the 5am Mass.
The suspects who were both wearing helmets, he said, fired eight shots at the driver at close range.
“He was rushed to a nearby hospital and declared dead on arrival,” said David whose residence is also located near the crime scene.
David said the latest killings brought to his mind a similar incident in front of the parish church of Birhen ng Lujan in the city’s Bagong Baryo district early this year.
The bishop, who set up a human rights council to monitor and investigate cases of drug-related killings in his diocese, said the driver was the 13th in a series of casualties in Metro Manila since Wednesday.
David also said that two other people, one of them an 18-year-old boy, were shot dead in two separate incidents in Caloocan on Thursday.
President Rodrigo Duterte this week has stripped the Philippine National Police of its role in the government’s drug war and designated the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as the “sole agency” to carry out the campaign.
Duterte the move was intended to bring order to the drug war and to pinpoint “precise accountability”.
The Duterte administration has been under heavy criticism from human rights groups and Western countries for its anti-drug campaign that already claimed thousands of lives.
“Can PDEA put a stop to killings of the same drug suspects by death squads whom the PNP never bothered to pursue, apprehend or investigate? Just asking,” David said. CBCPNews