COP SURVIVES AMBUSH

By: Benjie Talisic and Nestle Semilla April 29,2018 - 10:27 PM

A police investigator checks the bullet holes on the vehicle of PO3 Raymond Awit Zozobrado who survived an ambush past 2 a.m. on Sunday, April 29, 2018, in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.

A policeman who just came from the wake of a slain cop nearly became a victim himself in a failed ambush before dawn yesterday.

P03 Raymond Awit Zozobrado, 37, was heading home from the wake of P02 Kenneth Pogoy in the company of his wife when his vehicle was peppered with bullets by unknown assailants as it was passing below the flyover in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City past 2 a.m. on Sunday.

Chief Insp. Randy Caballes, the commander of the Mambaling Police, told Cebu Daily News that they were still determining the motive behind the
attempt.

According to Caballes, Zozobrado used to be assigned at the intelligence branch of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) but has since been transferred to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit (RPHAU) of the Regional Police Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7).

He was currently undergoing schooling for a junior officer’s course at PRO-7’s Regional Training Center in Consolacion town while still assigned at RPHAU-7, said Caballes.

Caballes added that Zozobrado came from the wake of Pogoy at Sitio Bato, Barangay Ermita, Cebu City and was driving his Mazda Bongo type white elf multicab under the Mambaling flyover when two men riding in tandem on a motorcycle came out of nowhere and began firing at the driver’s side of the policeman’s vehicle.

The attempt was similar to the ambush that killed Pogoy, formerly of the CCPO and was assigned in Marawi City, who had come from the Cebu City Court in Quimonda Building and was on board his motorcycle when shot and killed by a motorcycle-riding assailant last Tuesday, April 24 along M.J.Cuenco Ave., Barangay San Roque, Cebu City

In the case of Zozobrado, a fraternity brother of Pogoy, there were two men who tried to kill him but the policeman managed to avoid getting hit because the bullets failed to penetrate the vehicle. Zozobrado instead drove straight to the Mambaling police station to seek help and report the incident.

Investigators recovered one slug and three empty shells of a 9mm caliber gun at the crime scene.

Caballes said they have yet to determine the motive behind the attempt and the identities of the assailants since there were no witnesses when it happened.

“Only Zozobrado can help (the police investigators) solve the case of the attempted killing against him since there were no witnesses,” Caballes said.

Caballes also said that Zozobrado and Pogoy were fraternity brothers as they belonged to the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity, which was the reason why Zozobrado was there at Pogoy’s wake to pay his respect to his fallen fraternity brother.

He also said that they could not yet discern the motive of the ambush try but they were looking at several angles including that the attack was work-related or fraternity-related.

Don’t be hasty

Supt. Ryan Devaras, chief of the Investigation and Detective Management Branch of the CCPO, said he has directed the Mambaling police to take custody of Zozobrado’s vehicle for an examination.

Devaras added that Zozobrado was formerly assigned at the city police’s intelligence branch and did not know why he was relieved from his post.

Devaras said that police should intensify and strictly implement the checkpoints in their areas of responsibility so that incidents like this could be prevented.

Supt. Reyman Tolentin, the information officer of PRO-7, said the ambush could be an attempt to do harm on the policeman, hence, investigators should need to find out the motives behind it.

Asked if police are now being targeted with these two cases involving policemen, Tolentin said it was too early to tell.

“The PRO can’t declare something or conclude quickly without basis. Mao na nga maghuwat sa mi sa resulta sa investigation. Basin naa nay (the police) naligsan, dinakpan, or kontra or whatever (That is why we will just wait for the result of the investigation. We don’t know if he as an enemy or that it might have been done by someone he had arrested, or whatever),” Tolentin said.

Chief Supt. Robert Quenery, the regional police director, also cautioned the public against making hasty conclusions on the ambush try against Zozobrado

“We cannot conclude this early that the police are being targeted. We are looking deeper into the profile of the victim, which may include among others, his personal dealings and official duties. I have tasked the CD (city director) CCPO (Cebu City Police Office) to conduct an extensive investigation on this incident,” said Quenery.

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