MANILA, Philippines — At least 10 men, including a barangay captain, were killed in Metro Manila on Wednesday, all but three by all too familiar motorcycle “riding-in-tandem” killers.
The only exceptions were three alleged drug peddlers who police said attempted to shoot it out during a buy-bust operation in Tondo, Manila early Wednesday afternoon.
In Tramo, Pasay City, two men were gunned down in full view of witnesses by what appeared to be the same group of six men, two to a motorcycle, Wednesday evening.
The killers went after construction worker Rolando Almujela first in Barangay 48, shooting him dead then leaving a cardboard sign by his body saying, “Marami pa ang susunod na mamatay … umiwas na kayo sa droga (Many more will die next … avoid drugs).”
Soon after Almujela’s murder, a closed circuit television camera captured three motorcycles cruising in Barangay 45.
When they passed a man identified as Andy Parpan, they stopped and the driver of the first motorcycle appeared to call out to him. When Parpan turned around, the pillion rider on the first bike opened fire on him.
Parpan attempted to flee but collapsed by a pedicab parked by an alley. The pillion riders on the two other motorcycles then shot him, with one of them alighting to shoot the victim at close range.
Investigators recovered 16 empty shells from the crime scene.
Neighbors described Parpan as a former drug runner who did not heed summons to turn himself in during the police’s Oplan Tokhang.
Around 8 p.m., closed circuit television showed Arnel Parce, chairman of Barangay 20 in Zone 2, Tondo chatting with three men on San Roque Street when a motorcycle drove up. The pillion rider alighted and shot Parce at close range.
When Parce fell to the ground, a mute resident known as “alias Pipi” rushed at the gunman and grappled with him for the gun as the other witnesses fled. However, although Pipi managed to wrest away the weapon, the much larger killer managed to flee with his accomplice towards Road 10, where three other men with towels wrapped around their faces were apparently standing watch.
Pipi was brought to a hospital for a gunshot wound to the shoulder.
Village watchman Danny Bohol said Parce had told them earlier of his suspicions he was being watched.
He added that the barangay captain had been receiving death threats because of his anti-drug campaign.
In Malabon, Enrico Banal, who had been recently released from jail after being arrested on drug charges, was shot dead at a market.
And in Quezon City, Charlie Roxas, 37, Jimbo Larroco, 29, at Joel Inocencio, 38, were shot dead as they drank together by at least six gunmen in Barangay Sangandaan.