Barangay official killed by alleged drug cohorts
A barangay councilor of Jubay in Liloan town, Cebu was gunned down by two unknown assailants at past 10 p.m. on Thursday.
Erwin Sarmiento was driving his motorcycle along the national highway when he was ambushed by two motorcycle-riding men, said Chief Insp. Franco Rudolf Oriol, chief of the Liloan Police Station.
A bystander, identified as Charise Balberde was hit by a stray bullet on her right thigh.
She was immediately rushed to the hospital for medical treatment.
Oriol said Sarmiento earlier admitted of selling illegal drugs.
The victim, the police chief said, surrendered twice to authorities during the implementation of PNP’s Oplan Tokhang last July.
Supt. Richard Oliver, chief of the Cebu Provincial Police Community Relations Section, believed the killing was the handiwork of Sarmiento’s cohorts in the illegal drugs trade.
“One of the angles investigators are looking into was his (Sarmiento) failure to pay his debt to another drug personality,” Supt. Oliver said.
“He may have been killed because of that,” the police official added.
Police said Sarmiento was linked to the group of suspected drug lord Franz Sabalones who surrendered to PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa at Camp Crame last August.
Based on their investigation, Oliver said, Sarmiento was still involved in illegal drugs trade even after he surrendered to authorities.
“We hope to identify the perpetrators and find out the motive behind the killing,” said Oliver adding that police are now taking the testimonies of witnesses to get more information regarding the killing.
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