CCPO exec: Cortes, Fernandez’s killings will most likely be ‘cold cases’; CIDG to take over probe
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cases of the two of three known personalities, who were murdered in 2021 in Cebu City, will most likely be classified as “cold cases” and will be turned over to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the unit responsible for handling these cases.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) deputy director for operations, said this during a recent press briefing at the close of the year about the assessment of crimes in the city for 2021.
Parilla said that the killings of these known personalities in the city happened in a span of four months.
Parilla was referring to the case of radio blocktimer, Rey Cortes, who was killed in broad daylight by still unidentified perpetrators after his program in a radio station in Barangay Mambaling last July 22, 2021; and Lawyer Rex Fernandez, who was gunned down last August 26, 2021 in Barangay Guadalupe.
Parilla said that a murder case would be classified as a “cold case” when after six months the pieces of evidence gathered would not be enough to solve or identify the perpetrators of the crime, and this would be turned over to the CIDG, who would be responsible in continuing the investigation of the case.
He said that in the Cortes case and with the evidence gathered, they could only work on possible motives of the killing but these were not enough to solve or even identify the perpetrators of the crime.
He noted that the Cortes case would likely be classified as a “cold case” this month, January 2022, especially since there were still no updates on the investigation since the day of the killing, which would be six months this January 22, 2022.
In Lawyer Fernandez’s case, Parilla said that they also had already talked with the possible persons of interest in killing of the lawyer, but based on the evidence gathered it seems that there was a huge possibility that these people had no involvement in the crime.
Fernandez was shot by a lone gunman, who waited in ambush in a street corner in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on August 26, 2021. The unidentified gunman shot Fernandez as his car slowed down to negotiate the corner of the street. The gunman also fled the area through a waiting motorcycle driven by an unidentified cohort.
Parilla said that investigation on Fernandez’s killing would also turn six months in February this year.
However, in the murder case involving another known personality in Cebu City — Richard Buscaino, a former official of a fraternity group — Cebu City police have made progress in his case.
Parilla said that they had already identified the shooter of Buscaino, but they were waiting for the wife to come back to Cebu for the proper filing of the case against the perpetrator.
He refused to identify the suspect until after the case had been filed against him.
He also assured that they were closely monitoring this person and that he was still in Cebu.
Parilla also said that they planned also to seek legal advice from the legal unit of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) on the possibility that the victim’s wife would not return to the city to file the case and Police Colonel Josefino Ligan, CCPO chief, would instead be the complainant of the case.
He said that this would be possible because they had already gathered the pieces of evidence and statements from witnesses in the killing of Buscaino.
Parilla also said that based on their records, there were fewer murder cases in 2021 from January 1 to December 12, 2021 as compared to the same period in 2020.
Parilla said that the records showed that there were only 83 murder cases in the city during that time as compared to 96 murder cases in the same length of time in 2020.
He attributed this to the 700 policemen, who augmented the CCPO policemen, this year, which helped them increase their police visibility and help them impose health protocols especially in the interior barangays of the city.
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