Erap orders probe on attacks vs barangay officials

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has directed the Manila Police District (MPD) to thoroughly investigate the spate of attacks against some barangay chairmen in the city.

Estrada said he wants to know the real motives behind the incidents amid the city government’s anti-drug campaign that targets erring barangay officials.

“While we go after the barangay officials that are involved in drugs, we should protect the innocent ones,” the Manila mayor said.

“We cannot let those thugs sow fear among our barangay officials who serve as our front liners in our war against drugs and criminality,” he added.

Police investigators are looking into drugs and politics as the principal motives in the shooting of Chairman Dante Gonzalo of Barangay 670, Zone 72 and Chairman Kristo Hispano of Barangay 649, Zone 88.

Hispano, 37, was shot on June 21 after attending Estrada’s awarding of outstanding barangay officials for the 446th Araw ng Maynila celebration at the Manila Hotel. He survived.

Five days later, June 26, unknown gunman also shot Gonzalo in front of his bar at the corner of Mabini and Flores streets in Ermita. He died from gunshots to the head and back.