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Latest News Philippines: Lim: Bgy execs should set good example – Journal.com.ph:
“LET the axe fall where it may.”
This was the stern order of Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim yesterday to Manila Police District director Chief Supt. Alex Gutierrez and MPD-Station 4 chief Col. Rolando Balasabas, as they presented Barangay Chairman Jonathan Florendo, who went into hiding after killing another barangay chairman, Hilario Romano, right inside a barangay hall in Sampaloc over the weekend.
Joined by city administrator Jay Marzan, Lim also directed Gutierrez and Balasabas to check if Florendo has the necessary licenses and permits for the three different guns found to be under his possession.
During the press conference, Lim took the opportunity to remind the barangay chairmen that as persons in authority, they should be the ones to set the good examples as law-abiding citizens.
“Hindi tama na kayo ang primary enforcers of law in your areas of jurisdiction pagkatapos kayo din ang gagawa ng krimen,” he said, adding: “Nakakalungkot na chairman ang kinakasuhan but we have to apply the law no matter who gets hurt.”
“Ang mga barangay chairmen ay katulong ng mga pulis sa pag-maintain ng peace and order sa barangay, kaso dahil sa init ng ulo, nakakagawa ang mga chairman ng ganitong krimen kaya ang payo ko, di lang sa mga chairmen, ay magpakahinahon. Lahat naman ng bagay, nakukuha sa paliwanagan,” Lim said.
“Tingnan ninyo ang nangyari ngayon, siya nakaasunto, samantalang ’yung isang chairman naka-burol naman. ’Di bale sana kung kri-minal ang napatay nya, kaso kapwa niya chairman. Lahat ng lalabag sa batas, we have to take action kahit sino ka pa, wala tayong pakialam, kahit general, aarestuhin natin kung papatay siya ng tao,” Lim added
Florendo’s son who reportedly supplied the gun later used by his father to kill Romano, was also ordered by Lim to be included in the murder charges that will be filed against Florendo.
In the light of this development, Lim continued assuring all barangay chairmen that the city government will support them all the way as long as they do not break any law or should they face harassment charges as a result of their lawful performance of duties as heads of barangays.
Last July 21, at around 9:30 p.m., Florendo shot Romano inside the barangay hall of Barangay 478, during a meeting of barangay chairmen where the two reportedly had a heated argument regarding a forthcoming fiesta.
Allegedly under the influence of liquor at that time, Florendo was said to have drawn a gun but was immediately prevailed upon by other chairmen who also took his firearm and advised him to leave the barangay hall in the meantime. Florendo called up his son to bring his other gun and then returned to the hall to shoot the victim, hitting him in the chest and killing him instantly.
Gutierrez then ordered Balasabas to conduct a follow-up operation, resulting in Florendo’s arrest at around 5 p.m. the other day at Room 501-B Lourdes Mansion, Alhambra St., Ermita, Manila. Police noted that Florendo was all packed up and ready to transfer to another place when nabbed.
The mayor noted that while the first gun taken from Florendo was a 9 mm calilber pistol, the one he used in killing Romano was a 357 revolver and the one confiscated from him during his arrest was a .45 cal. gun, prompting him to order the filing of additional charges of illegal possession of firearms should investigation later show that those firearms or some of them are unlicensed or unregistered.
Meanwhile, investigation showed that only recently, barangay chairmen in Sampaloc held an election where Florendo was replaced by Romano as the zone chairman.
Romano is also said to be actively involved in having drug pushers in their area busted and sent to jail.
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