Jun 11, 2021 @ 17:31

NBI files complaints vs 7 cops, 2 civilians in Calbayog City mayor’s death

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed murder and frustrated murder charges against seven (7) policemen and two (2) civilians before the Department of Justice in connection with the death of Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino last March 8.

Charged were Police Lt. Col. Harry Sucayre, Police Maj. Shyrile Tan, Police Capt. Dino Goles, Police Lt. Julio Armeza Jr., Police Senior Sgt. Neil Cebu, Police Senior Sgt. Edsel Omega, Patrolman Nino Salem, Julius Garcia, and Randy Merelos.

Based on the evidence gathered by the NBI, the incident was an ambush not a shootout.

“As to the CCTV, it will tell us that this is not just a chance encounter, but as I said a premeditated one. That’s why the report was it was an ambush,” Deputy Director for Regional Services Antonio Pagatpat.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra released Department Order No. 57 directing the NBI to conduct a parallel investigation into the incident.

Reports showed that Aquino was on the way to attend the birthday celebration of his son when his vehicle was attacked by armed persons.

After a brief exchange of gunfire, Aquino was hit, including in the head, and died upon reaching the hospital.

His two bodyguards were also killed in the ambush. They were identified as driver Dennis Abayon, and bodyguard, Staff Sgt. Rodeo Sario. A City Hall employee—Mansfield Labonite—was wounded.

Also, Clint Jan Paul Yaunder, another City Hall employee, was killed by a stray bullet inside a passing car driven by his father who was unscathed.

On the other hand, killed from the other group were Police Capt. Joselito Tabada, chief of the Provincial Anti-Drug Enforcement Unit, and Staff Sgt. Romeo Laoyon of the provincial intelligence group in Samar. Tabada was also chief of the Gandara municipal police station.

Reports said Aquino and his party “were thinking that the vehicles behind them were tailing them, ” while police personnel engaged in the shootout were inspecting “the operational readiness of PNP units in the area.”

Aquino, 58, was serving his third and last term as mayor.

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