‘Middleman’ in murder caught

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Sunday, March 30, 2014


ONE of the suspects in the fatal shooting of a drug operative in 2008 was arrested by police in the parking lot of a mall in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City last Friday afternoon.

Arcadio Sayson Jr., 36, was caught by police who had a warrant for him in connection with the death of PO2 Jose Clint Cañete.

Cañete was shot to death while descending the old Mandaue-Mactan Bridge on a motorcycle last October 21, 2008 after attending a drug case hearing.

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He worked with the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (Raidsotg) Central Visayas.

“All suspects are now accounted for,” said Senior Insp. Henrix Bancoleta of Raidsotg 7, after Sayson’s arrest.

Arnel Montero and Sharon Barbero were caught in 2009 while Ronel “Tata” Wagas was killed in a shootout with police in 2010.

Bancoleta told Sun.Star Cebu the police have been monitoring Sayson, who is from Barangay Looc, Liloan, for a long time.

“Sige man ni siya ug balhin-balhin (He kept moving from one place to another),” he said, adding that the suspect has been to Oslob in the south and Compostela in the north to hide.

Last Friday, Sayson was sighted aboard a multicab in a parking lot, apparently driving his mother to the mall.

Elements of Raidsotg 7, armed with an alias warrant of arrest, took Sayson. He didn’t resist arrest. Nothing was confiscated from him.

The warrant was issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 28 Judge Marilyn Lagura-Yap in Mandaue City.

When interrogated by police, Bancoleta said, Sayson told them he acted as the middleman by introducing Wagas to a drug personality who wanted
Cañete dead.

The two suspects, he said, went to Lapu-Lapu City Jail where they met the alleged mastermind before the crime was carried out.

Bancoleta said that Wagas was identified as the hitman while Montero and Barbero served as lookouts.

However, in a report over GMA 7’s Balitang Bisdak, Sayson denied having a hand in the crime. “Wala gyud koy labot ana (I was not involved),” he said.

Sayson is now detained in the Waterfront Police Station and will be brought back to court on Monday.

Bancoleta, during the interview, said Cañete’s death was work-related.

“Kugihan kaayo ‘to siya gud. Daghan na ‘to siya ug napapriso (He was such a hard worker who had sent a lot of people to prison),” he said. He had met the policeman while he was still new in Raidsotg 7.

Before Cañete was killed, he earned a Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting in 2006 for defending himself and a barangay tanod from an armed civilian.

Cañete was also described as a hard-line antidrug police officer, despite already getting numerous death threats. He joined the police force in 1996.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 30, 2014.

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