Deaths of 4 cops linked to fight v. illegal substance-A A +A
Monday, June 9, 2014
FOUR police officers in Bohol were reportedly killed for their fight against illegal drugs, including the ambush on the police chief of Ubay town on Saturday.
Supt. Pablo Labra II, Police Regional Office (PRO) 7’s Regional Intelligence Division acting chief, said a drug group headed by Owen Rosales, a former policeman, has been linked to these crimes.
“We have reliable information that these incidents were accordingly done by his group,” he told reporters yesterday.
The latest casualty was Chief Insp. George Caña, Ubay Police Station chief, who was ambushed allegedly by the group in Barangay Balintawak, Talibon.
His death came more than a month after SPO1 Noel Romagos, an anti-illegal drug crusader, was shot dead by motorcycle-riding assailants in Barangay Sta Fe., Danao, Bohol on April 29.
Last Sunday, the group reportedly had a 45-minute shootout with police in Barangay Puerto San Pedro, Bien Unido during a follow-up operation on Caña’s death that claimed the lives of six members, including Rosales.
The other fatalities were identified as Armando Quisto, 33, of Balintawak, Talibon; Glenn Sayson, 34, of Mandawa, Bien Unido; Junifer Bicada, 36, of Poblacion, Talibon; Carlito Kiamko, legal age, of Tabajan, Guindulman; and Amie Camero, 18, of Cansojong, Talisay City, Cebu.
Their four companions surrendered to police. They were Roberto Olalo, 35, of Davao City; Paolo Avenido, 33, of Poblacion, Bien Unido; Orlando Garcia, 35, of Magsaysay, Talibon; and Joan Cajes, 18, of Poblacion, Trinidad.
Labra said Rosales, who previously held the rank of police officer 1, was classified as number one drug personality in the province.
“They could dispose of at least two kilos of shabu per week,” he said.
Labra said Rosales had been assigned in seaborne patrol, but was dropped from the
rolls after he went absent without official leave.
“He was already a drug user when he was still in police service,” Labra said.
He said Rosales sold illegal drugs after leaving the force and started stockpiling firearms before creating a group.
According to intelligence information, he said Rosales’s group could also be involved in gun-for-hire activities in Bohol.
“Pwede sila hangyuon (They could be asked) to do things such as assassination,” Labra said.
The high-powered and low-powered firearms confiscated from the group will undergo ballistic examination at the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory Office 7 to find out if these were used in previous crimes.
Senior Supt. Conrado Capa, PRO 7’s deputy regional director for operations, said Caña’s death is a big loss to the police.
“He was one of the finest chiefs in Bohol. Dapat yun na ang (That should be the) standard. Dapat (He should be a) fighter,” he said.
Capa said Caña was supposed to be reassigned after receiving death threats.
“Marami na kasi siyang napadakip (He had arrested many suspects), but he chose to stay there,” he said.
Caña’s death, Capa said, should not discourage other police officers from pursuing drug suspects and from stopping the illegal drug trade.
“The fight goes on, but we just have to be careful. We can’t afford to lose this war.
Drugs have already affected families and not just individuals,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 10, 2014.