THE slain complainant against the alleged erring 11 police officers formerly assigned at the Sawang Calero Police Station did not avail herself of a security detail from the witness protection program despite receiving death threats after she sought help from the Commission on Human Rights 7 on her case.
Victim Ritchie Nepomuceno, 35, was a bit of complacent when it came to her personal security after the Police Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) Visayas Field Unit filed the criminal charges against the police officers, said Leo Villarino, chief investigator of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) 7.
The CHR 7 filed complaints against 11 police officers who, as then members of the Sawang Calero Police Station’s drug enforcement unit, allegedly robbed Nepomuceno during their search for firearms in her home in March.
The team leader, Staff Sgt. Celso Colita, also faced a separate complaint for allegedly raping Nepomuceno inside a motel.
Colita can no longer attempt to clear his name as he reportedly took his own life inside the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 headquarters in Cebu City, hours after Nepomuceno was gunned down by two men aboard a motorcycle in Barangay Basak Pardo, Cebu City on Monday night, April 19, 2021.
Nepomuceno’s murder has so far spawned theories, not concrete evidence to unmask her killers and determine the motive of the crime as the investigation is still in its early stage, said Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla, deputy director for operation of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
The first possible reason for Nepomuceno’s murder could be her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade as her lover, a big-time drug personality, is now in the Cebu City Jail.
Another reason, Parilla said, could be the victim’s complicated love life. It was learned that Nepomuceno wanted to patch things up with her husband, but he was still undecided on their reconciliation as she had two other lovers—the jailed drug personality and Colita himself.
Parilla said the drug personality reportedly received information about Colita’s alleged affair with Nepomuceno; however, investigators would still have to verify this.
The police official said Nepomuceno’s name surfaced as the supplier of arrested drug pushers.
The allegation about Nepomuceno’s involvement in the illegal drug trade was corroborated by Maj. Glenn Hife, chief of the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit 7.
Nepomuceno was described by Hife as the “banker,” as she was the one who often deposited the illegal drug trade proceeds into the jailed drug personality’s bank account.