CEBU

Sinas dissolves SITG in Ramirez's murder

POLICE Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Debold Sinas has disbanded the special investigation task group (SITG) that was formed to fast-track the inquiry on the murder of former Medellin mayor Ricardo “Ricky” Ramirez.

The crime, he said, does not merit the creation of an SITG, which was earlier formed by the Cebu Provincial Police Office.

Sinas cited reports about the alleged special treatment given to Ramirez while the latter was under hospital arrest. The slain politician, he said, was also involved in illegal activities in Medellin, Cebu.

However, the investigation continues at the level of the Medellin Police Station.

Sinas said he would meet the Medellin police chief to get updates on the investigation as he was instructed by Police Director General Oscar Albayalde to check if there were lapses in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s security protocol for Ramirez.

Before forming an SITG, he said investigators must determine if the murder victim is a government employee or a military/police officer.

Police could only create an SITG if the murder affects the peace and order situation in the place of incident, according to Sinas.

Ramirez’s killing on June 18, 2019 inside the Bogo-Medellin Medical Center (BMMC) does not fit any of the criteria mentioned by Sinas.

However, Ramirez was an incumbent councilor when he was murdered. After his third and last term as Medellin mayor in 2016, he ran for a seat in the town council and won.

Ramirez did not run in the midterm elections last May 13, but his son Pedro Jesus did and the latter failed to win as municipal councilor.

In July 2017, police arrested Ramirez for possession of unlicensed firearms, ammunition and drug paraphernalia in his residence in Barangay Caputatan Sur.

Less than a month after his arrest, he was rushed to the Cebu Doctors’ Hospital in August 2017 for high blood pressure.

He was later brought to the BMMC after his lawyer filed a motion in court to place Ramirez under hospital arrest due to his medical condition. The court granted the motion.

Ramirez was interred in Queen City Memorial Gardens in Cebu City last June 24, but his family refused media coverage during the burial.

The police have yet to identify the culprits behind Ramirez’s death. They also have no persons of interest who may have knowledge of the plan to execute him. Witnesses’ accounts revealed that around 15 heavily armed men, complete with bulletproof vests and bonnets, barged inside the BMMC before shooting to death Ramirez inside his room.

For his part, Sinas suspected that one of Ramirez’s enemies possibly exacted revenge on the politician. In December 2010, a provincial police chief named Ramirez, then the Medellin mayor, as the suspect in the death of a municipal employee.

“We are not just looking into the illegal drugs angle. But we are also looking into the possible involvement of the people whom he wronged before and the relatives of the person he allegedly shot,” Sinas said in Cebuano. (From AYB of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)


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