Gunmen 'sent by Duterte' harass, rob Kalinga folks

>> Saturday, May 20, 2017

PINUKPUK, Kalinga – Residents here were gripped with fear when six masked gunmen, saying they were “sent by President Duterte,” barged into the house of a businesswoman and her brother Monday, harassed and robbed them of money and personal belongings.
They introduced themselves saying they were sent by the President to look for illegal drugs.
They asked Lilibeth Guzman Cabasag, 38 and teacher Jerremy Cabasag, 24,in Ilocano: "Where is the shabu? Someone tipped us. And where is the money?," as they searched the house here in remote Calbayan, Katabbogan.
One of the men pointed a handgun at the businesswoman, grabbed her by her hair and ordered her to drop to the floor while his companions searched closets and drawers.
The gunmen took from Lilibeth's house an M16 "baby" Armalite rifle and an undetermined amount of cash.
Having a firearm in every house has been a tradition in Kalinga, which has a long history of tribal animosities.
After robbing the house, the gunmen also forced their way into Jerremy's home next door.
"Don't shout because Duterte sent us. We are only looking for something," one told the teacher while threatening him with a gun, the police report said.
This, while  others searched the house for valuables and took Jerremy's wallet containing P1,300 in cash, a driver's license, three Landbank ATM debit cards, a professional license card and other government-issued IDs.
The robbers, the report said, fled on foot toward a national road before taking a white van and a black motorcycle mounted by a gunman who acted as a lookout.
Town policemen pursued the gang members but failed to catch up with them them.
The suspects reportedly mimicked cops knocking on doors to tell drug users to surrender.
The police operations, known as "tokhang," have been a key element in President Duterte's war on drugs.
Critics have warned that the policy which, has led the deaths of thousands, could used by crooks to further their activities.

A group of cops were recently charged of killing a South Korean businessman last year after they accused him of involvement in drug cartels without evidence. 


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