DRUG WARS IN ILOILO CITY

DRUG WARS IN ILOILO CITY

Blood stains mark the spot where Dario Duran, a known drug personality in Iloilo City, was murdered April 2 by two gunmen in plain view of shoppers at the Gaisano City Capital Mall in Lapaz district.
Duran was allegedly murdered over an unpaid debt for a huge supply of “shabu” from a local drug lord. Duran’s murder is just the latest in a string of drug-related violence in Iloilo City. (Photo credit: Joselito Villasis/Panay News)

Drug violence in Iloilo City

The casual manner by which a lone gunman shot and killed 58-year old Dario Duran in front of the crowded Gaisano City Capital mall in Lapaz district of Iloilo City on Tuesday afternoon sent a loud message to the entire community that drug violence is escalating. Drug lords are now starting to quarrel for territory, and they don’t care about the Comelec gun ban to enforce their wills.

This murder case isn’t a rare occurrence in Iloilo City. There have been a number of murders that have been disguised as ordinary homicides, but were actually connected to drug syndicates carrying out punitive measures against those who cross the big bosses.

One prominent case was that of a former illegal gambling bet collector in Jaro district who was shot dead a few days after police arrested drug pushers aboard a taxi operated by a suspected drug lord in Iloilo City. This happened in November last year. The victim was rumored to have been the informant who tipped off the police about taxi drivers and bet collectors as shabu couriers. He had to pay with his dear life.

Police sources say drug syndicates have recruited almost every ex-convict returning from prison terms in Bilibid. They form the army of enforcers for the drug syndicates. For the elections, they are tasked to harass, intimidate and coerce leaders of the opposition to desist from their campaign activities. And the drug syndicates have shown, as what happened at the Gaisano Capital City mall, their men simply ignore the gun ban to carry out their violent measures to assert their rule.