INVESTIGATORS from the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) still have no idea who killed or who was behind the fatal shooting of self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones past midnight on Maundy Thursday, April 18.
Sabalones was on his way to a billiard hall on Borromeo St. corner Mother Ignacia St. in Barangay South Triangle when he was gunned down by unidentified assailants.
His body was identified by Joselito Cabilao, a cousin, an hour after the incident.
Police Major Elmer Monsalve, QCPD Criminal Investigation Detective Unit chief, said they are still collecting evidence, including footage from security cameras near the crime scene.
Monsalve said some establishments were closed due to the observance of Holy Week. However, he said they already submitted a written request to owners so police could check their security cameras.
QCPD investigators are also securing the testimonies of Sabalones’ companions, particularly Michael Noel Diaz and Jonathan Peter Tiu.
Tiu owns the car Sabalones disembarked from just before the latter was shot.
Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Manuel Abrugena said they will coordinate with the QCPD to confirm the victim’s identity.
Abrugena also refused to comment if Sabalones’ death would have an impact on the illegal drug trade in Cebu following reports that Sabalones recently resumed his operations here.
“We are still verifying if the reported victim in a shooting incident in Manila is Franz Sabalones. We shall be coordinating with our counterparts in Manila to confirm if the victim is Sabalones,” Abrugena added.
Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Debold Sinas also would not comment on the matter.
On Good Friday, April 19, a police officer assigned at the Regional Election Monitoring Center of the PRO 7 was hurt in an ambush at 6 p.m. in Sitio Pajo, Barangay Poblacion in the southwestern town of Samboan.
The victim was identified as Police Master Sergeant Roy Ryan Cavalida, 36, a native of the town but who temporarily resides in Barangay Bacayan, Cebu City.
Cavalida was shot in the stomach and leg.
His sister Nanette Cavalida Deiparine was also hurt after she shot in the buttock.
The injured siblings were taken to a public hospital in Malabuyoc before they were transferred to a public hospital in Cebu City.
Police Senior Master Sergeant Bethoven Rocamora of the Samboan Police Station said Cavalida had just picked up his family at the church. As he was parking his car in front of his house, four unidentified men on board motorcycles arrived and started shooting at him.
He managed to crawl to safety and shoot back at his attackers, using his .9mm pistol.
Investigators could not determine if Cavalida hit any of his assailants since there was no trace of blood at the crime scene aside from his.
“As of now, we are still trying to know if there is a CCTV (closed-circuit television) camera nearby which could have recorded the incident. We believed that the victim might have been followed by the assailants from the church based on accounts from witnesses,” Rocamora said.
Samboan Police Chief Warlito Tuñacao told Superbalita Cebu he received information from residents in the town and from his personnel that Cavalida might have been involved in illegal drugs.
Tuñacao said they’ve yet to establish a motive for the ambush, although they are looking at his work background as a possible angle, especially since Cavalida was assigned at the intelligence division of the Cebu Provincial Police Office.
He said they would also check if Cavalida took an official leave of absence to be in Samboan for Holy Week. (FROM AYB, GCM OF SUPERBALITA CEBU / JKV )