Cops on manhunt for more suspects

POLICE have identified the other cohorts of a former village chief who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the ambush-slay of a former communist rebel who served as the bodyguard of Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante.

Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Clifford Gairanod said they are still tracking down more than five men.

Gairanod said the operation that led to the arrest of Luduvico Roquero (not Oroquero as earlier reported), 54, last Thursday dawn in Barangay Montealegre was valid.

Senior Insp. Leo Logronio, the Tuburan police chief, said charges for murder, illegal possession of firearms, and violation of the election gun ban were filed against the suspect yesterday.

Tuburan Mayor Democrito “Aljun” Diamante is hoping that the police will be able to control the peace and order situation in his town before it becomes worse as election comes near.

Rene Cangmaong (not Romeo as earlier reported), a rebel returnee and Diamante’s bodyguard was shot dead shortly before noon last May 4 in Barangay Mag-antoy, Tuburan. The town is one of those placed under the election watchlist areas (Ewas) along with towns of San Francisco, Dumanjug, San Fernando, Medellin, Daanbantayan and Carmen and Bogo City.

Roquero, who denied he was part of the attack, is a supporter of One Cebu mayoralty candidate Daphne Lagon who is running against Diamante, a reelectionist under the Liberal Party.

At 2 a.m. last Thursday, the police raided the house of Roquero and other houses. They recovered long firearms from the house of Roquero, who said that these were just planted by the police.

A closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage showed that Roquero was standing outside Lagon’s house when the attack on happened last Wednesday afternoon, TV5 Cebu reported.

Police said they have witnesses who identified Roquero as one of the men who opened fire at Cangmaong, also a former New People’s Army member.

Gairanod said the suspect’s camp should submit proof so it can be investigated by authorities.

“It was a valid operation. It was a manhunt, a hot pursuit operation,” he said.

“We recovered several firearms, lulusot pa siya? Huwag mong sabihin tinataminan na na man namin sila ng bala?” he told reporters.

He said they conducted the operation because they want to maintain peace and order in the town, which is included in the election watchlist of areas (Ewas) in Cebu.

No sacred cows

“Whatever your color is, if you bring guns, gold, and goons. We will arrest you,” said Gairanod.

The two opposing camps of Diamante and Lagon traded accusations of harassments, maintaining goons and crimes against each other but no one among them admitted to these

Imelda, Roquero’s wife said her husband was with Galileo Montecillo, 56, in Barangay Montealegre, which is 30 kilometers away when the ambush in Mag-Antoy happened.

Montecillo said Roquero arrived in his home at 11 a.m. and stayed there until 4 p.m.

Before that, Roquero was at the One Cebu headquarters at 7 a.m. to endorse names of their watchers, said Lagon’s chief security Emmanuel Maxilom.

He left the headquarters at 10 a.m. and proceeded to the house of Montecillo in Montealegre.

Imelda pointed to the political enemies of her husband, Montealegre Barangay Captain Matildo Paglinawan and Barangay Peace Action Team member Potenciano Talaugon, as those behind his arrest.

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