POLICE investigators have identified a suspect in the killing of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 former spokesperson Jesus “Jessie” Tabanao last Sept. 14.
Chief Insp. Romeo Santander, head of Cebu City Police Office's City Intelligence Branch (CIB), made the disclosure yesterday.
He said the CIB is set to file charges against the suspect, who is allegedly a hitman of a drug syndicate.
Three witnesses identified the suspect and have expressed willingness to execute affidavits.
Santander said that their investigation revealed that Tabanao, 35, had stopped at a well-lit area on Escario St., Cebu City where he talked with a man for about 30 seconds.
When the man left, Tabanao went to the back of his white Mitsubishi Strada pickup and opened the left rear door. The gunman, who was waiting across the road, then approached Tabanao and shot him several times in the back.
Santander said the CIB is still trying to identify the man who had talked with Tabanao before he was shot, but they already have a description.
“He is the link to everything,” he said.
Santander believes the man is in connivance with the gunman because the attack took place when he left.
“It was like he was giving a cue to the gunman,” he said, adding the man also didn't help Tabanao when the victim was shot.
Tabanao’s wife, Katrina, yesterday visited Santander to ask updates about her husband's case.
“She also requested to get the belongings of Tabanao, including their car,” he said.
In another development, a suspected drug peddler was arrested by the police in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Hipodromo, Cebu City last Monday night.
Seized from Jophie Hewal, 31, were 49 small packs of suspected shabu worth almost P20,000 and P1,460 cash, believed to be drug proceeds.
Senior Insp. Eunil Avergonzado, head of City Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (Caidsotg), said they conducted a two-week surveillance against Hewal after receiving a report of the suspect's illegal activity.
“There’s rampant selling of drugs there,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
A policeman posed as a buyer and bought a pack of shabu worth P400 from Hewal.
During a tactical interview, Hewal said he get his supply from his brother-in-law who is detained at the Cebu City Jail.
The Caidsotg will coordinate with jail officials to verify Hewal's allegation.
A complaint of illegal selling of drugs was filed against Hewal yesterday before the Cebu City Prosecutor's Office.