Being an intel officer takes a lot of risks: PIB chief

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Saturday, December 28, 2013


FIRST blood.

This was how Supt. Rodolfo Albotra described the wounding of one of his intelligence operatives last Thursday in an anti-narcotics operation.

Albotra said that for the past 17 years that he has been in the service, last Thursday’s incident was the first time that one of his
operatives got wounded during his watch.

“Sa kadugay nako diri, karon pa gyud ko masamdi og tawo (For the long time that I have been here, this is the first time that my man was wounded),” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

He was referring to PO2 Gabriel Opoc, who was wounded in his left hand after he was shot by a suspected drug pusher during a buy-bust in Barangay Jubay, Liloan town.

The suspect, 41-year-old Elias Gulane, died after Opoc returned fire.

Being an operative, Albotra said, is different from working other police units.

“The risk involved is high because we are always on ground operations,” he said.

In anti-criminality programs of the Cebu Provincial Police Office, Albotra said they are always at the frontline.

Opoc was recruited by PIB last year after Albotra saw his potential in dealing with all sorts of criminals.

Before joining the PIB, operatives would be given a briefing on what they should expect under this special unit.

“I always tell them they will be doubling their risks,” Albotra said.

An operative could get killed or face more complaints as a result of their operations.

As precautionary measures, the PIB would conduct trainings and proficiency firing tests regularly. By practicing, an operative would develop muscle memory, which leads to quick response.

During operations, Albotra said he would ensure his personnel to wear top quality bullet proof vests in case they get shot.

“We’re not invincible. Better safe than sorry,” he said.

On Dec. 19, the PIB operatives shot dead a suspected gun-for-hire who was allegedly responsible in the fatal shooting of a policeman in Carcar City.

Last year, a 17-year-old gang member was shot dead by a female PIB operative in Barangay Capitol Site, Cebu City just after he allegedly robbed a woman.

“They always have my support because what we are doing is for public service,” Albotra said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 29, 2013.

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