POLICE arrested the alleged mastermind in the fatal shooting of Baptist pastor and political supporter Crisostomo “Jun” Maternal Jr. after a chase last Tuesday night.

Garry Daclan got caught in Barangay Guadalupe by operatives of the City Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operative Task Group (Caidsotg) 7. He had allegedly ordered cohorts to kill the pastor for P30,000.

He was the one who financed and sought the killers, Cebu City Police Director Senior Supt. Benjamin Santos said.

The gunman remains at large.

Operatives first arrested the suspect’s brother, Gilbert Daclan, 38, and Garry’s live-in partner, Roxan Catanbacan, 19, in a buy-bust last Monday afternoon. They had received reports that the three were involved in drugs in the mountain barangay of Bonbon.

During that time the police didn’t have a direct link between the arrest and the murder of Maternal, because Garry escaped and ran to the forest in Sitio Biasong, Bonbon.

But when they cornered Garry in Guadalupe last Tuesday, police found out from him that he was scared after seeing the pastor having lunch with some members of the Armed Forces. He thought that Maternal would report their illegal activities.

Mao to nanawag among amo nga ipatrabaho mao to ako ang nangita sa motira (Our boss called and instructed us to kill him so I sought a gunman to do the job,)” Garry said.

He added that their boss, whom they knew only as Ramil from the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, would contact them to handle illegal drug transactions.

The Armed Forces were in Bonbon to join the annual Brigada Eskwela in the Bonbon Elementary School but the suspects thought that Maternal, who was a vocal anti-drug crusader, was arranging for the soldiers to arrest them.

Cebu City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña said the alleged mastermind’s arrest should serve as a warning to everyone that the City Government and the police are serious in the fight against illegal drugs.

Police presented Daclan to the mayor-elect yesterday.

“We have captured the mastermind, the killer of Jun Pastor and that shows you that we are not only willing to fight back, we are fighting back,” Osmeña said.

Maternal had served as a political leader of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) and an active advocate against illegal drugs even in barangays other than his own, the incoming mayor said.

Osmeña said he also learned that the suspect is a drug pusher in the mountain barangays.

“I’m giving a warning all the drug pushers in Cebu City. You should move to Talisay, where the mayor will protect you because here, we will find you and we will do something to you,” he said.

However, he said there will be no reward to the police for Daclan’s arrest, even if he is believed to be involved in illegal drugs.

Wala kay buhi man siya, nagtindog pa siya, wala siya’y garas, ayaw na lang uy (There won’t be a reward because he’s still alive. He’s still standing and unscathed. No need for a reward),” Osmeña joked.

Meanwhile, Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) Chief George Ylanan said that the police already have the gunman’s name and picture.

“Local gunman, local price,” Superintendent Ylanan said. The search for the suspect is ongoing, he added.

The pastor, 46, was shot and killed last Sunday afternoon after a Bible study session in Bonbon.