POLICE Regional Office (PRO)-Western Visayas director Police Brigadier General John Bulalacao admitted that investigators are presently encountering difficulties in investigating and solving the abduction of retired Police Major Lito Pirote.
Bulalacao, who was visiting Bacolod City earlier this week, assured Pirote’s family that they are serious in solving the case, proof of which is the formation of an oversight committee and a special investigation task group.
He said they are currently looking at all angles including Pirote’s alleged involvement to illegal drugs, since President Rodrigo Duterte had already involved the victim to the drug trade before.
“The case still stands, however, I cannot pressure the investigators especially the city director as it is really hard to gather evidence that will support the angles they are pursuing,” Bulalacao pointed out.
Earlier this week, Pirote’s daughter, Cate, claimed of “lack of action” from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO).
Pirote’s daughter claimed they have not received any communication from either department.
She recently made a public appeal to find her father, while the family has been handing out flyers and distributing rosaries, which were reportedly found in their father’s vehicle on the day of the abduction.
While attending a family affair at the Bacolod City hotel, Pirote was dragged out and assaulted by 10 heavily-armed men wearing tactical gear and bonnets. The suspects disarmed the hotel’s security guards and ordered employees and guests to lie down on the floor. Witnesses also claimed the former police officer tried to resist, but one of the suspects struck him in the head with their firearm.
The victim was then pushed inside a white Toyota HiAce van which immediately sped northwards.
Pirote retired from the service earlier this year and was previously assigned under the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group.
He was also one of the seven cops President Rodrigo Duterte claimed were involved with a drug matrix.
In addition, Pirote was previously charged by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for alleged links with the P11 billion drug shipment intercepted at the Manila International Container Port and in Cavite.
The case, however, was later dismissed.