FORMER Cebu City mayor Michael Rama confirmed that slain PO3 Jonathan Tilos used to be his security escort when he was still mayor.
“I can’t really remember him because he was not part of my security escorts inside my car but I was informed by my former chief security escort that (Tilos) used to serve me. That was between 2012 and 2013,” Rama told SunStar Cebu.
Rama said Tilos only served him for a few months since the policeman was a reliever.
Councilor Dave Tumulak, for his part, said Tilos had sought his help to be reassigned in Cebu City.
“He came to my office and asked me to facilitate his transfer to Cebu City because he wanted to continue studying and I did request the Police Regional Office 7, but it was not approved,” Tumulak said.
Before his transfer to Ginatilan, Tilos was a law student at the University of the Visayas, Tumulak said.
Tilos was a former intelligence operative, who had links to self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones.
He succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds after he was ambushed after his gym workout in Alegria town Wednesday night.
His girlfriend, a freelance model, is demanding justice. The couple has a one-year-old son.
Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Manuel Javier Abrugena said they have identified “a person of interest” in Tilos’s ambush.
On the government’s radar
He said Tilos, 36, was in the government’s list of narco-cops.
The police official said he received reports that Tilos was a “friend” of Sabalones, who surrendered to former Police Director Ronald dela Rosa in 2016.
Tilos was reportedly a batchmate of Senior Insp. Raymond Hortezuela, who was killed in a drug bust in Barangay Tipolo, Mandaue City last Sunday night. Both entered the service in 2006.
Hortezuela was the second police officer to be killed in a police operation in 10 months, following the death of PO3 Ryan Martus, who was shot by anti-narcotics operatives in Talisay City in August 2017. Martus’s pregnant wife was also killed in the crossfire.
Tilos was an operative of Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) before he was transferred to Ginatilan in 2017.
In 2015, Tilos and 26 other PIB operatives, then under the leadership of Supt. Rodolfo Albotra, received an award from the Provincial Government for their anti-illegal drugs operations.
Abrugena said they are looking into personal grudge as one of the motives behind Tilos’s murder, but they are not abandoning the theory that Tilos was killed for his alleged involvement in illegal activities.
He said they will look into the reports that Tilos was separated from his wife and had several affairs.
Tilos was reportedly on duty at the Ginatilan Police Station when the crime happened. He went to the gym for his regular exercise around 5 p.m. The gym is located in Sitio Malbog, Barangay Poblacion in Alegria, an hour away from Ginatilan.
Initial report from the Alegria police said that Tilos had an argument with an unknown person on his way to the gym.
The culprit, armed with an automatic rifle, shot Tilos several times after the victim’s workout outside the gym. The gunman fled in a black vehicle. He was brought to a hospital in Alegria, but was declared dead.