Town’s police chief, 6 others killed in Bohol

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Monday, June 9, 2014


A TOWN police chief died in an ambush while six people, including an alleged drug lord, were killed in a firefight in Bohol Province during the weekend.

Chief Insp. George Caña, Ubay Police Station head, was ambushed by two vehicles while on board his pickup truck in Barangay Balintawak, Talibon at 7:10 p.m. last Saturday.

Senior Supt. Renato Dugan, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7’s spokesperson, said Caña was on his way to the police station after having dinner in a restaurant in Barangay San Isidro when the assault took place.

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Caña was rushed to Garcia Memorial Hospital, but didn’t make it there alive.

A joint operation by the Provincial Intelligence Branch, Provincial Public Safety Company and Special Weapons and Tactics of the Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) located the assailants in Bien Unido at 9:30 a.m. yesterday.

An informant had tipped the police about the presence of armed men in a beach resort in Barangay Puerto San Pedro.

Senior Supt. Dennis Agustin, BPPO director, said his personnel negotiated with the assailants, who were occupying three rooms in the resort, to surrender.

Four people went out and submitted themselves, but the others were unyielding.

“Inabot ng dalawang oras yung usapan pero sila yung unang nagpaputok (The negotiation stretched for two hours, but the suspects fired first),” he said in a a radio interview over dyAB 1512.

The suspects allegedly threw a hand grenade toward the police, but it didn’t explode.

During the gunfire, six people were killed, including Owen Rosales, a former policeman who held the rank of police officer 1. He had allegedly been dropped from the service in 2008 for being absent without official leave (Awol).

Rosales, who was the group leader, was also classified as the number one drug lord in Bohol, according to the police watch list.

“His scale of operations covers nearly the entire second district of Bohol, which is composed of at least 14 towns,” Agustin said.

Firearms such as two KG-9 assault rifles, two .45 pistols, one M16 rifle, one 9mm pistol and one .38 revolver were recovered from the assailants, along with one grenade.

The policemen who are still identifying the five other casualties also confiscated an undetermined quantity of shabu from them.

One of the four people who also yielded to police was reportedly a girlfriend of Rosales. The others were identified as drivers of the group’s getaway vehicles.

The motive of the ambush on Caña, Agustin said, was probably related to his work because he was active in anti-illegal operations.

“Marami na rin kasi siyang na-arrest at na-confiscate na drugs (He had arrested a lot of persons and confiscated their drugs),” he said.

During the radio interview, Agustin revealed that Caña had received threats before. “He would be executed daw,” he recalled the officer saying.

The fatal shooting of Caña, Agustin said, was considered solved following the death of the assailants, including the alleged drug lord.

“Nabigyan na namin ng justice ang kasamahan namin sa trabaho. Magsisilbi din itong warning sa ilan na hindi nila pwede itong gawin kahit kanino (We have found justice for our colleague. This will also serve as a warning that these attacks will not be tolerated),” he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 09, 2014.

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