Sinas: Corporal Yballe died in a misencounter with fellow police officers
CEBU CITY, Philippines — It was a misencounter between fellow police officers.
This was how Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) director, described the death of Police Corporal Feliciano Yballe, who was killed in a shootout with Provincial Intelligence Branch-Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PIB-PDEU) police officers last Wednesday, May 1 in Barangay Sudlon 1, Cebu City.
Sinas said that it was a lack of coordination between the PIB-DEU team and Yballe, whom the team was allegedly seeking help from to track down one of the suspects in the killing of Police Executive Master Sergeant Junard Cinco of the PDEU, who was allegedly hiding in Barangay Sinsin.
Cinco was shot dead in Toledo City on April 30.
He said that 18 personnel of the PIB-PDEU tracker team were allegedly seeking Yballe’s help, who was familiar with the terrain in Barangay Sinsin in Cebu City.
Yballe, on the other hand, was assigned as a barangay police in Sinsin around 2016 before his recent assignment in the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Mobile Force Company.
However on the May 1 incident, when the operatives knocked on Yballe’s door, Yballe allegedly did not recognize the operatives, who were not wearing their police uniforms, and he fired a warning shot in fear of the unrecognized men outside his home.
“According to the CPPO (Cebu Provincial Police Office) team, they heard a shot firing inside the house that triggered the exchange of fire and (the) misencounter,” said Sinas in a press conference at the PRO-7 office on Thursday, May 2.
Sinas said that Yballe had been reportedly paranoid before his death since he received a series of death threats from drug syndicates which might have been affected in many of the anti-illegal drugs operations of the CCPO.
He said that some of the drug personalities allegedly raised funds to have him killed.
Sinas said some of the operatives allegedly admitted that they shot at Yballe in retaliation after he allegedly fired a warning shot because they were surprised.
“We will thoroughly investigate so that when we will file charges we will only file charges to those who were really involved in his (Yballe) death,” said Sinas.
Sinas said that Police Colonel Royina Garma would be leading an investigation for the CCPO to help establish a case against the involved policemen.
She also coordinated with Yballe’s family to discuss the help that the CCPO would offer to the bereaved family.
In the report of Police Colonel Manuel Abrugena, Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) director, he said that immediately after the exchange of fire, the team leader of the tracker team called for a cease-fire.
He said in the report that the policemen did not have any intention to kill.
He said the team checked on Yballe, and when they found him wounded, they immediately brought him to the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) where he was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician.
General Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police director, already ordered a thorough investigation of the case and directed the Regional Internal Affairs Service in Central Visayas (RIAS-7) to lead the internal investigation of the policemen involved.
Sinas said that Abrugena relieved the 18 PIB-DEU members and stripped them of their firearms pending investigation./dbs
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