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Attack on Customs men probed
PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Dionardo B. Carlos yesterday ordered a much deeper investigation into a series of violent attacks on officials and employees of the Bureau of Customs in Manila.
According to the top cop, they are doing a case analysis to establish any possible leads in the series of violence that have victimized BOC personnel, the latest of them BoC IT operator Gil Manlapaz Jr. who was shot dead in front of his house in Sta. Ana, Manila.
Since last December, at least four BOC personnel have been killed.
“It is unlikely that this is an isolated case since the first two incidents happened last December. Then, the next one was last January. Now, another BOC employee was shot dead. I am instructing our investigators to get all the necessary pieces of evidence,” Gen. Carlos said.
The PNP got hold of a CCTV footage that shows how Manlapaz was being stalked by the gunmen just minutes before he was shot dead.
“This will be helpful since we also have CCTV records of the previous crime incidents. Now, we want to find out if there are similarities on how these injustices were executed,” Gen. Carlos said.
The violent incidents have reportedly triggered a ‘climate of fear’ among BOC officials and employees that some of them have armed themselves and have sought for gun ban exemption from the Commission on Elections.
Since December 23, 2021 until last week, at least six BoC employees have been attacked leaving two dead and two wounded. At least two grenade-throwing incidents, both targeting BOC officials, have also been recorded.
Last January 7, BoC Senior Appraiser Eudes Nerpio was shot dead by still unidentified gunmen. Last Friday, Manlapaz was gunned down by unidentified assailants.
Last February 9, a grenade was hurled outside the house of Customs Deputy Commissioner Teddy Raval while a 2nd grenade was lobbed outside the office of the Customs’ Police Office although it failed to explode.
Two other BOC personnel identified as Chief Customs Operations Officer Melvin Tan and Assistant Section Chief Ryan Difontorum were also ambushed by armed men although both survived.