CHR-7 steps in probe vs police links to recent ambush

By: Futch Anthony Inso August 13,2018 - 10:25 PM

ALARMED over the spate of killings in Cebu, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR-7) has decided to investigate the alleged involvement of policemen.

CHR-7 chief investigator Leo Villarino said two policemen have already been implicated in two shooting incidents and there are leads that uniformed men could be behind these two incidents.

Villarino said they are presently investigating the death of PO1 Eugene Calumba, who allegedly tried to ambush Tejero Barangay Councilor Jessielou Cadungog last July 30 but was killed by Cadungog’s bodyguard when he allegedly pulled his firearm.

On the other hand SPO1 Roderick Balili has been linked to the ambush of Von Rian Tecson, an agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-7) agent, last August 8 in Carcar City.

Police officials have denied Balili’s involvement in Tecson’s death. Balili also died of two gunshot wounds on the chest, allegedly inflicted by Tecson, as he lay dying in his vehicle

“We’ll start the investigation in the case of Tecson. Finally, we decided to take cognizance of this case, because of the reports that the person who killed agent Tecson was SPO1 Balili. We will investigate this, because of the alleged involvement of the police,” Villarino said.

Calumba probe

Among the angles being looked into by the CHR is where exactly was Calumba assigned when the alleged ambush on Cadungog happened.

Earlier, Police Regional director, Chief Supt. Debold Sinas claimed that Calumba was conducting surveillance in Barangay Tejero, when he was shot and killed by Cadungog’s driver, William Macaslang.

Calumba was aboard a motorcycle driven by Michael Banua, a anti-crime volunteer attached to the PRO7.

Macaslang said Calumba’s motorcycle blocked the vehicle he was driving and pulled out a gun, prompting him to pull his own gun and shoot Calumba, who, at that time was not in uniform.

“I really do not know yet, because based on my understanding, the port area, T. Padilla and Sergio Osmeña is within the jurisdiction of Waterfront Police Station. But apparently they said that

Calumba is from Parian Police Station. I don’t know if that is already included in Parian Police Station’s jurisdiction because we know very well that Barangay Tejero belongs to Waterfront,” he added.

Villarino said they will be sending subpoenas to the two police stations and ask them to explain the incident, so that they can also secure an official statement from the police.

Aside from this, Villarino said that they have already gathered copies of several CCTV footage posted in social networking sites.

He said they will also talk with Cadungog.

“What we are looking into now in the Commission on Human Rights is whether or not the police is actually involved in the attempt on the life of a barangay official,” Villarino explained.

“Later on we will ask the police to officially respond to the allegation and hopefully, they will come up with an answer and formally respond to our invitations or subpoena,” he said.

Tecson slay

CHR will also look into the killing of PDEA agent Tecson after Mayor Tomas Osmeña linked SPO1 Balili to Tecson’s ambush-slay.

Sinas, earlier explained that Balili was brought to a hospital after being hit twice in the chest due to accidental firing while conducting surveillance in Pinamungajan town.

“The police officials are not admitting that it was Balili who killed Tecson. But reports will show that Balili, in one way or another, has something to do with the killing of PDEA agent Tecson,” Villarino said.

He however expects the families of the two policemen not to cooperate in the investigation.

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TAGS: ambush, CHR-7, links, police, PROBE

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