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Wednesday August 15, 2018
CEBU

SPO1 Balili didn’t shoot PDEA 7 agent Tecson: PRO 7 director

Chief Supt. Debold Sinas

THE Central Visayas police director admitted that an operative was wounded past noon last Wednesday, the same day Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 officer Von Rian Tecson was killed in Barangay Perrelos, Carcar City.

Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, in a press conference, identified the cop as SPO1 Roderick Balili of the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG), a unit under the Regional Intelligence Division (RID). Sinas said the operative was not involved in the agent’s death and that the latter was a victim of accidental firing. Balili, he said, was not shot by Tecson. The 41-year-old Tecson was in the passenger seat of his black Ford Ranger driven by Arnold Bauyaban during the ambush.

Officer Balili, Sinas said, is still alive, recuperating in a private hospital in Cebu City.

“There’s no such thing as police namatay (who died),” he said, adding there was negligence that resulted in the incident.

Sinas said his personnel are not affected by the insinuations that the police are involved in some killings in Cebu.

“It’s part of our daily job nga naa gyod na ingon ani nga mga insidente (that something like this happens)... As far as I am concerned, I think it does not affect their morale. It affects sa morale katong nahitabo kang (what happened to) Calumba. That affects the morale,” he said, referring to PO3 Eugene Calumba, who was shot dead by the bodyguard of Tejero, Cebu City Barangay Councilor Jessielou Cadungog last July 30.

Most netizens, who watched the Facebook Live video of SunStar Cebu, did not believe Sinas. Asked for his comment on this, the official said, “Wala man miy gi-hide (We’re not hiding anything).”

Tecson succumbed to nine gunshot wounds.

SPO1 Von Tecson of Carcar City Police Station, in a Balitang Bisdak report, said he is dismayed by the slow progress of the investigation. He will submit the memory card of the Ranger’s dashcam to the National Bureau of Investigation.

“Motumaw lang gyod ang tinuod kay kon duna man ganiy nabuhat akong igsuon wala lang unta nila ingon adtoa (The truth will come out but if my brother did commit any wrongdoing he didn’t deserve to be killed like that) ,” Tecson said in a Balitang Bisdak report.

Sinas has ordered the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division to conduct an inquiry on the incident involving Balili. He is also open to other government agencies conducting separate investigations.

He said they are “protecting” Balili because of reports linking the officer to the Tecson ambush.

When asked where Balili was shot, RID Chief Remus Medina said they still have to wait for a medical report.

Sinas refused to comment on Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s statement that Balili is in his list of “not so nice” policemen. Osmeña mentioned the RSOG operative’s name last Thursday as the cop who was wounded by Tecson before the agent died of gunshot wounds.

He said there is a possibility that Tecson’s murder is related to the killing of PDEA 7 agent Baby Earl Rallos, who was ambushed by riding-in-tandem gunmen on Villalon Drive in Cebu City last July 27.

A special investigation task group (SITG) was formed to solve Tecson’s murder. Sinas said this will be merged with the SITG-Rallos if investigators find evidence that both killings are connected.

In a separate interview, Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Manuel Javier Abrugena said no firearm was recovered in Tecson’s vehicle. The agent was in the front passenger seat when the attack happened at 12:57 p.m.

Sinas said that the accidental firing happened around 11:50 a.m. inside a white Toyota Altis, the car used by three RSOG personnel, including Balili, the team leader, who was in the backseat. Two operatives were in the front. The team was in a mountain village in Pinamungajan conducting surveillance on a high-value drug target, ex-PO3 Baselio Nilo “Tating” Quirante. (Quirante, who entered the police service in 1975, was dismissed in 1989 after he went absent without official leave. He was also involved in illegal gambling activities.)

A fellow operative, the driver, gave Balili’s government-issued .9mm Glock pistol to the operative when the vehicle happened to pass by a hump. The gun then went off and hit Balili.

The police officer was brought first to Cebu South General Hospital in Naga City. He was transferred to Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital in Cebu City.

Sinas did not divulge the names of Balili’s companions, saying they are operatives.

Balili was among the 29 officers of the CPPO who received cash incentives from Gov. Hilario Davide III in May 2015 for their successful drug operations. Balili was an operative of Provincial Intelligence Branch.


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