Police probe presence of street gangs in Negros Oriental town

May 5, 2009 3:39 am 

DUMAGUETE CITY, May 4 – The police in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental have released a minor to his father for temporary custody pending the filing of formal charges against him for allegedly stabbing three gang members recently in self-defense.

Meanwhile, police authorities in the province are investigating reports that the street gang culture has already fanned out to areas outside of Dumaguete.

Reports have reached the police that the more popular gangs, Bloods and Crips, have widened their memberships to the other towns and cities of Negros Oriental.

Sr. Insp. Errol Garchitorena, chief of the Intelligence and Investigation Section of the Provincial Police Office, said the suspect could not be held in detention as he is a minor.

Arnel (not his real name), aged 17, told police investigators that he had to defend himself from a group of about 10 young men who allegedly ganged up on him while he was with his sister and two other teenagers at the Sta. Catalina town plaza.

Provincial Intelligence and Investigation Chief P/ Sr. Insp. Errol Garchitorenna said the gang attacked Arnel for an unknown reason and without provocation by the suspect and his companions.

Arnel told reporters here that while defending himself from his attackers, he spotted one of them holding a knife.

He said he managed to evade and grab the knife from the attacker, which he used to defend himself.

In the process, he stabbed at least three members of the group, one of whom died soon after.

The police identified the stabbing victims as Jyrex Didal, 20, Roberto Tablo, 20, both recuperating at a hospital, and Jury Veruasa, 21, who died before reaching the hospital.

Arnel’s father said he sought the assistance of the police after he observed some members of the group “spying” on their whereabouts in the neighborhood.

Garchitorena said the police in Sta. Catalina are urging the victims’ families to file appropriate charges against Arnel.

In the meantime, the police have advised the father and son to be wary of their activities as the victims’ friends and families could retaliate.

Sr. Insp. Garchitorena said the rival Bloods and Crips gangs, which became a problem in Dumaguete a few years back, are known for their violent activities.

A few gang members in Dumaguete have already died due to the rivalry of both groups, he added. (PNA) LAP/jfp/MA

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