PRO-7 chief: Cop’s killer, cohorts may be members of gun-for-hire group with Ozamiz links
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police are investigating if the gunman and his cohorts involved in the shooting of Police Senior Master Sergeant Maximino Macua Jr. during a botched surveillance operation on February 11 are members of a gun-for-hire group with possible connections in Ozamiz City.
Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) director, said this was one of the things that they were investigating on the killing of the police officer.
“We believe this group is an organized gun-for-hire involved in the collection of money from a drug syndicate in the province. They could be one of those who are behind killings involving riding-in-tandems,” said Ferro in a press briefing at the PRO-7 office in Camp Sergio Osmeña in Cebu City on February 13, 2020.
He also said the drug syndicate he was referring to could be a ‘big group’ with possible connections in Ozamiz City or those who were tied with self-confessed drug lord, Kerwin Espinosa.
Ferro, however, refused to reveal further details since it might preempt ongoing followup operations.
Macua, a member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG), was part of the surveillance team gathering information on suspected drug personalities operating in Sitio San Roque, Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.
Read more: Macua, a caring and dedicated cop
According to initial police investigations, several men, who sensed the presence of law enforcers, interrupted their surveillance by attempting to shoot it out.
Currently, two suspects are now under hospital arrest after they received gunshot wounds from the encounter. They were identified as Jeramea Zafra and Franco Obeso.
Police said Obeso, a suspected drug pusher, was reportedly the gunman responsible for Macua’s death.
Police are now ‘hunting down’ other possible suspects including a certain Ronald Salgarino, whom Obeso pointed to investigators as one of their accomplices, and another companion only identified as ‘Joe’./dbs
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