Manhunt on for suspects behind killing of police officer in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A manhunt is now being launched by Cebu City police for the suspects in the killing of a police officer during a buy-bust operation on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Janette Rafter, Deputy Director for Operations of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), told reporters that personnel from all the stations in the city have been instructed to assist in the investigation and manhunt operation.
“Our city director, Police Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog, has instructed all of the personnel, not only the PDEU, intelligence operatives, but all of the personnel, to gather information and to help in any way what we can to provide the assistance sa atong kapulisan nga gipangulohan diha sa pag-imbestiga ug pag-hot pursuit niining mga suspetsado,” she stated.
Rafter assured that all the Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel in the city will be working together in order to give justice to Police Staff Sergeant Ryan Languido Baculi, a multi-awarded officer who left behind 5 children.
She also said that they are urging the public to approach the authorities if they have any information on the whereabouts of the suspects to help in the manhunt.
“Gidasig pud nato ang atong mga katawhan pud through the mga force multipliers nato, nga og kinsa may naay impormasyon bahin niining tawhana, dili gyud magmakuli sa paghatag ug pagduol dayon kay time is of very essence karong mga panahona nga dali gyud sila moikyas kay kabalo pud ning mga suspetsado karon gipangita sila,” said Rafter.
Baculi was assigned to the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU). He was killed early Wednesday morning, November 15, 2023.
Baculi was acting as the poseur buyer when one of the suspects noticed the presence of police and suspected Baculi as one of them.
One of the suspects, identified as Atong Rafols alias “Atong,” then drew a firearm and shot Baculi four times.
Baculi did not make it to the hospital while Rafols was shot in the shoulder by responding officers but was still able to escape with another suspect, Ramil Salazar.
According to Rafter, Rafols was previously arrested for murder when he was still a minor.
Because of his age, Rafols was put into Operation Second Chance, a center for minors in conflict with the law. When he turned 18, he was transferred to the Cebu City Jail.
Rafter relayed that when Rafols was released, he allegedly got involved in a shooting incident in Barangay Inayawan where his accomplice was arrested.
She added that the warrant of arrest against him is pending, as of this writing.
They will also be verifying reports that Rafols was involved in other successive shooting incidents that took place in the city.
While acknowledging the efforts of police to maintain peace and order, Rafter advised officers to consider their own safety during operations as instructed by the city director.
“Let us always [prioritize] our security, especially in the conduct of kaning mga in-ani nga mga operation. Let us put the PNP personnel’s security over kaning mga operation nato,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) honored Baculi through a statement posted on their social media page.
“As his fellow officers, we pledge relentless efforts to bring these perpetrators to justice, honoring due process throughout. Our commitment to this pursuit is unwavering; we will not rest, we will not sleep until his heartless killers are held accountable,” a portion of the statement read.
PRO-7 also assured that they will be looking after Baculi’s bereaved family while they continue their impartial investigation, and manhunt to send his assailants to jail.
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