Police officer, disguised as poseur buyer, killed during buy-bust in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A police officer in Cebu City was simply doing his job and acting as a poseur buyer during a buy-bust operation when the suspects noticed his real identity and shot him multiple times which resulted to his death.
A buy-bust operation in Sitio Pagtambayayong, Barangay Kinasang-an, Cebu City turned into an armed encounter on early Wednesday morning, November 15, 2023.
Multi-awarded police officer
The victim was identified as Police Staff Sergeant Ryan Languido Baculi, a multi-awarded personnel who was assigned to the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU).
Operatives conducted a buy-bust operation to catch the two subjects identified as Atong Rafols alias “Atong” and Ramil Salazar alias “Namol.”
The police report showed that the victim, who was disguised as a poseur buyer, approached the two suspects onboard a motorcycle at around 12:05 a.m.
Before the transaction was made, the subjects allegedly noticed the presence of police in the area and suspected Baculi as one of them.
Fired at police officer
One of the suspects, Rafols, then drew a firearm and fired it multiple times at Baculi.
After the victim stumbled and collapsed on the ground, both suspects got off the motorcycle and ran away on foot.
Back up security stationed nearby immediately fired back at the suspects which resulted to Rafols being hit on the shoulder.
However, both suspects escaped when they entered the interior portion of the area.
Baculi was rushed to the ACE Medical Center by his fellow operatives, but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.
The victim’s cadaver was transferred to the hospital’s morgue room and will be subjected for an autopsy, the report said.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), told reporters that the regional director condemns the killing of Baculi.
“Atong regional director Police Brigadier General Anthony Aberin condemns this killing of a police officer who was just performing his function. But kining hingtaboa, dili ni makapatalaw sa mga operatiba sa Police Regional Office 7. Magpabilin ang among ka-agresibo,” he said.
Hot pursuit operations
Pelare added that units on the ground were conducting a coordinated hot-pursuit operation against the suspects.
He also said that both suspects have pending warrants of arrest, and that Rafols had previous cases of frustrated murder and murder and was once sent to jail.
Rafols is believed to be one of the gun-for-hire personalities in Cebu City who would be hired to dispose of persons who did not pay during transactions of illegal drugs.
“We are conducting hot-pursuit operations now. We are encouraging people who have information to report to the police so that we could give justice to this police officer who left behind 5 children,” said Pelare.
Barangay tanod linked to suspects
According to Pelare, they also received reports that the alleged suspects called for help from a barangay tanod in Inayawan as they fled from the scene.
The tanod allegedly picked up the suspects using the barangay vehicle.
Pelare said that they would be validating this information and investigating to determine why the suspects asked help from the barangay tanod and why it was not reported to police.
He also told reporters that they have coordinated with the barangay captain and appealed for a parallel investigation on the alleged use of the barangay vehicle. Police have already identified the barangay tanod involved.
According to Pelare, they will make sure that the family of Baculi will be taken care of.
They will also be reviewing what happened during the buy-bust operation to determine the improvements needed to ensure that this would not happen again, said Pelare.
Here are some photos from the crime scene:
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