By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – It took only two cadavers thrown by unknown assailants near the entrance of the “Little Tondo” of this city that scared the wit off of the residents there who immediately pledged their support to the police’s dangerous drug’s war.
Superintendent Neil Miro, the new chief of police here, said that after a certain Cayabyab, a notorious narcotics dealer, and a lady dope dealer Onging were murdered early of August, Sitio Aling, a part of Barangay Pantal here, known as lair of narcotics peddlers, snatchers, and killers became a peaceful place. "It was miraculously been likened to the nearby Church of Lady of Manaoag Shrine in Manaoag, Pangasinan, a radio broadcaster, who asked anonymity, quipped.
Aling had been an armpit of this generally peaceful city after previous chiefs of police could not solve the vileness of the place.
After Onging was murdered, residents there trooped by riding five public utility jeeps to the office of Miro that alerted his policemen.
He thought the 70 residents of Sitio Aling would retaliate after their two fellow residents were murdered.
“Sabi nila susuko na po kami (We are going to surrender),” Miro said.
Security precaution in mind, the chief of police asked his men to separate the men and women from the slum at the function room at the third floor of the police station where they were gathered.
The 1997 member of the Philippine National Police Academy did it before he started the dialogue because many of the menacing looking men have tattoo all over their bodies.
Miro cautioned them not to make any false move otherwise there would be consequences.
“Sabi ko pagpapatayin ko kayo baka magnanais kayong patayin ninyo ako dito, mamatay kayo dito,” he said with a humored bravado.
He then asked the obviously frightened folks two questions.
“Masayang buhay o mamatay (a happy life or death)?
“Masayang buhay ( a happy life)!” they all simultaneously and loudly retorted as quoted by Miro for Northern Watch.
Because of their cooperation, he told the men that he designated them as members of the newly formed Task Force Anti-Illegal Drugs with identification card for each of them.
Their function is to watch 24 hours a day seven days a week any suspicious personality that enter the Sitio and report them to Miro.
“Idea ko iyan. Pag may pumasok diyan na drug pusher kalimutan natin na magkakaibigan tayo kasi wala kayong silbi, lokohan lang tayo,” he warned them
As gratitude of their cooperation Miro sought the help of philanthropist Ashok Vasandani, president of the Filipino-Indian Chamber here, to fund a small party there.
“No problem, I will give ten thousand pesos for the people there,” Miro quoted Vasandani.
Vasandani cited they posted on a tarpaulin the slogan’s ”Kaysa Druga ang ihain mas mabuti na lang ang pagkain” of the residents on their collaboration for the public to see.
Upon assumption of the post in August 1, Miro, who hailed from Mangatarem, Pangasinan, said he was challenged by the notoriety of Aling that he even went there alone in the wee hour during the scourged of a typhoon.
“Sinabi kasi nila ang Sitio Aling ay isa sa pugad ng drug pushers, gustong gusto ko iyong mga challenged e”.
He told himself that if someone blocked his way out by threatening his life he would shoot the culprit.
“Sabi ko pag may lumabas dito at mangharang sa akin ay babarilin ko”.
In the past, a policeman chasing a robber who snatched the belonging of commuters and consumers at the nearby city proper would hesitate to enter the place without colleagues backing him up.
Residents there had killed in various occasions years ago two police men.
The place was a puzzle for law enforcement officials because several chiefs of police here could not decipher the solution perpetrated by the people there.