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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Dig deeper on death of Cordova police officer - PNP chief

POLICE Director General Ronald dela Rosa told the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 to dig deeper into the death of PO2 Ryan Casiban of Cordova Police Station.

Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, the PRO 7 director, said the order came after the police officer wrote the names of retired Deputy Director Marcelo Garbo and Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot in a police blotter, shortly before his disappearance and death. Investigators cannot declare Casiban’s death as a suicide just yet, Taliño said.

Kakaiba ito (This is unusual),” he told reporters. “Kaya ni-required tayo na imbestigahan itong maigi (We were told to investigate this thoroughly).”

In a separate interview, Mayor Loot denied the accusations that Casiban wrote about him in a police blotter, before the officer went missing last Aug. 10 and was found dead two days later in Lapu-Lapu City.

“I cannot recall having any police officer by the name of Casiban assigned in my office,” said Loot.

“It is unfair to sensationalize the incident at my expense when there is nothing in the blotter that (says) he is responsible for implicating or exposing (retired police general Marcelo) Garbo and I to the president,” Loot stated in a text message.

He observed that the blotter entry was so “incoherent” that it ought to lead to a “deeper investigation” into the officer’s background. He declined to comment further, saying he wouldn’t want to add to the Casiban family’s grief.

An autopsy report showed that PO2 Casiban died of a gunshot wound in his head. It also indicated that the officer’s toes were probably bitten off by some animals.

When Casiban was found dead in Barangay Agus, Lapu-Lapu City last Friday night, police also retrieved his pistol with a magazine, two other magazines with ammunition, a pair of handcuffs and a cellphone that had served as the Cordova Police Station’s hotline.

Security cams

Senior Insp. Alcon Escosura, chief of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Homicide Section, said that investigators will check the closed-circuit television cameras near the crossing of Barangay Marigondon.

Messages on Casiban’s cell phone will also be checked.

A certain PO1 Tajanlangit will be summoned as part of the inquiry, after the latter was mentioned as part of a team that was allegedly going after Casiban.

Casiban was last seen leaving the police station at 2:50 a.m. last Wednesday, two days before his body was found.

“I want to write what is justice for all to stop all illegal drugs. God is in me,” read part of Casiban’s police blotter statement.

He had also reportedly called former Cordova Police Station Chief Zosimo Jabas Jr., whose help he asked for, saying he was being chased by Atan Tajanlangit’s men.

Get help

For his part, Taliño urged police officers who are under threat to report to their immediate superiors.

In a report on TV 5’s Aksyon Bisaya, Chona, wife of Casiban, said she wondered why Loot denied knowing her husband. She said that Ryan had served as Loot’s police escort.

Lisod dawaton ang hitabo. Mangayo lang ta ko og hustisya nga kinsa tawon ang nag-among-among sa akong bana nga giingon ana pa siya pagpatay. Kung kinsa man mo, makosensya ‘ta mo (It is hard for us to accept what happened. I will seek justice for my husband after what they have done to him. I hope that the suspect will come out),” Chona said.

Marilou, Casiban’s mother, described her son as a quiet and simple man who was a good father.

In a GMA 7 Balitang Bisdak report, Chona also said that when President Rodrigo Duterte announced the names of the five generals (Garbo and Loot among them) who were allegedly coddling drug traders, Casiban told her he wanted to surrender.

Both retired generals have previously denied any allegations of wrongdoing. With Dan Henly N. Cuizon, USJ-R Intern
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