JUSTICE FOR P01 MAE SASING
Police yesterday ruled out work-related issues in Tuesday’s ambush-slay of PO1 Mae Sasing and have believed she was killed over a personal grudge.
Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino, chief of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), has ordered a manhunt operation against the suspects in the killing of the policewoman on Tuesday.
Espino said they have identified “persons of interest” in Sasing’s death, and he has directed the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) and Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO) to hunt down her killers.
“Nakakalungkot ang pangyayari na isang kapolisan natin biktima ng riding-in-tandem suspects. Inutusan na natin yung COP (chief of police of MCPO and LLCPO) na hulihin at tugisin kung sino man yung salarin,” Espino said. (It makes me sad that one of our police personnel has become a victim of riding-in-tandem suspects. I directed the COP of MCPO and LLCPO to hunt down and arrest the killers.)
Sasing, 31, had just gone off duty and was heading home to Barangay Jugan, Consolacion town, on board her motorcycle when she was waylaid in Barangay Basak, Mandaue City, at 7:14 p.m. on Tuesday by two assailants riding in tandem on a motorcycle.
She was hit several times, including one in the head, and died before she reached the hospital.
The grief-stricken family of Sasing asked her colleagues in uniform to find her killers and for justice to be served.
Laarne Sasing Herbias, 36, Sasing’s older sister, said they were still in shock over the death of her sister, whom the family called “Maymay.”
The policewoman’s parents, Vicente and Virginia Sasing, both in their 60s, were inconsolable and sobbing uncontrollably as Sasing’s remains encased in a white coffin were brought inside their home, where the slain lady cop lived with her parents and her daughter Veinna Gwyneth, 7.
Sasing’s common-law husband, Marvin Locsin, is a seaman currently based in Palawan. He was expected to arrive in Cebu last night, Laarne said.
Laarne described her sister as a jolly person and a loving parent to her daughter.
The third of five siblings, Sasing had another older sister, Geraldine Diamada, 37, and two younger siblings: brother Donnel, 30, and sister Kris Jona, 20.
Sasing’s remains were first brought to the St. Peter Chapels in Mandaue City on Tuesday evening before being transported to her home in Barangay Jugan yesterday, escorted by policemen from both MCPO and LLCPO, led by Chief Insp. Francisco Villanueva, Sasing’s direct superior and the company commander of the City Public Safety Company (CPSC) of the LLCPO. The convoy arrived at her house at 5:50 p.m.
Her burial is scheduled on November 12 at the Cebu Memorial Garden in Lilo-an town, her family said.
Dispute with neighbors
Espino said their investigators were looking into a dispute between Sasing and her siblings and their neighbors.
Sasing’s colleagues in the police force said they had no reports of her being under threat because of her job as a policewoman. She was also described as hardworking and congenial by Villanueva.
Sasing, who had been assigned at the CPSC for about two years, worked well and had good relations with her fellow officers, said Villanueva.
Diamada, a schoolteacher, said her sister also had no known enemy except for some of their neighbors who had filed a child abuse case against the policewoman and her two other siblings for allegedly inflicting physical harm to minor girls during a basketball league in their place in Barangay Jugan, Consolacion.
Diamada said the conflict started when Sasing went to the rescue of her sister who was attacked by another group of minors, as they cheered opposing sides in the basketball game.
The dispute was first heard in the barangay council level, but it went to court with a child abuse case lodged against Sasing and her siblings after no settlement was reached.
Recently, however, both parties came up with a settlement in which Sasing’s party paid the accusers the amount of P20,000 as settlement, Diamada said.
Diamada said she would not want to believe that this case was related to her sister’s killing since the matter had already been settled.
However, she said, “Gawas aning kasoha, wala na gyu’y lain pang kaso nga na-involve sila (Aside from this case, there’s no other case they have been involved).
Diamada’s husband who also happened to be a policeman, PO2 Ryan Diamada, could not also think of anyone who could have wanted her dead.
But PO2 Diamada, who is assigned at Canduman Police Station of MCPO, also surmised that “basin duna pa gyu’y mga tawo nga wala pa makadawat nga settle na ang kaso (there might be people who still can’t accept that the case is already settled).”
Chief Insp. Mercy Villaro, information officer of MCPO, said Sasing had no work-related problem but was instead a fine and dedicated officer based on their background check with LLCPO, where she served for around two years in the Police Community Relations (PCR) office of the CPSC.
Villaro said there was also no feedback of any problem she was involved with when she was assigned in Cebu’s southern town Moalboal for three years prior to her assignment in Lapu-Lapu City.
Sasing had also not been assigned to handle sensitive cases, such as those involving drugs, that could have placed her life in danger or could have caused threats against her, Villaro added.
Villanueva, on the other hand, said Sasing always had a smile on her face and had a nice disposition, the reason why she was designated as his office’s community relations officer.
*Correction: Contrary to initial reports, the name of the policewoman was not Sassy Mae Sasing but Mae Sasing.
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