'Police asset' shot dead in Pardo

THE police still have to identify the two motorcycle-riding men who shot and killed a businessman who was also an intelligence unit’s asset in Cebu City yesterday morning.

PO3 Cristobal Geronimo said they are looking into the possibility that the attack on Charito Licay Mepico was connected to the victim’s alleged use of illegal drugs and his being a confidential agent of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) of Police Regional Office 7.

Another, more personal angle is also being studied.

Chief Insp. Dexter Calacar, the PRO 7 information officer, said that Mepico was a former member of the RID, but one of the identification cards issued by the RID showed the victim’s stint as a confidential agent was supposed to end in February 2017 yet.

The card had been signed by the former RID head, Supt. Rex Derilo, who was implicated last week as one of the officers who allegedly accepted a weekly payola from suspected drug lord Franz Sabalones.

Mepico succumbed to three gunshot wounds in the back of his head.

Before he was attacked at 6 a.m. in Barangay Kinasang-an, Mepico was reportedly seen arguing with a man in Barangay Duljo Fatima. The latter reportedly mistook him for a police officer.

Mepico’s wife, Janice, said she went out of her room when she heard several gunshots. She screamed after seeing her husband sprawled in his own blood.

Geronimo said that Janice had admitted her husband was a junkie, but he was not involved in the illegal drug trade.

Kinasang-an Councilman Luther Bartolome told CCTN 47 that the victim had not been included in Oplan Tokhang.

On a piece of plywood inside the lumber store of Mepico, a handwritten message read, “(Kasabot ka) Tan-aw ayaw saba aron dili ka matokhang (Watch but keep quiet so you won’t be subjected to Tokhang).” Janice told the police that her husband had written it himself.

A team from the Crime Scene Investigation Unit found five empty shells from a 9mm pistol and a deformed slug.

Mepico’s .45 pistol, four magazines, 26 bullets and a cell phone were some of the items taken by the investigators.
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