Manhunt for cop killers will not stop until culprits are behind bars – Police
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The manhunt for those who killed Police Corporal Ryan Langudio Baculi during a buy-bust operation in Cebu City, will never stop until the killers are behind bars.
This was the promise of Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7).
Baculi was gunned down by suspected drug dealers when the latter sensed that they were dealing with a police officer during a drug sting last November 15.
Pelare assured the public that they are still conducting a dedicated operation in order to give justice to the multi-awarded police officer who lost his life while performing his duties.
“Nagpabilin ang atong manhunt operation against sa duha ka suspects. And still, naa tay information nga ginasunod. We base our actions on information that we obtain…Dili lang ko moingon og oras but we are very optimistic that moabot ang panahon nga makit-an ug madakpan ra ang mga suspects,” he stated.
Pelare added that they have received reports that the alleged killers, Atong Rafols and Ramil Salazar, are still hiding in Cebu City four weeks after they shot and killed Baculi in Sitio Pagtambayayong, Barangay Kinasang-an, Cebu City.
It can be recalled that Baculi, a personnel of the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU), was disguised as a poseur buyer during an anti-illegal drugs operation that turned into an armed encounter on November 15, 2023, when he was shot four times.
As of this writing, the two suspects remain at-large and are being pursued by law enforcements in a massive manhunt operation.
Pelare explained that it is taking some time to catch the suspects because of their expertise as notorious criminals with alleged involvement in illegal activities.
Both Rafols and Salazar reportedly have pending warrants of arrest from other cases and the former was previously sent to jail. Rafols is also believed to be a gun-for-hire who terminates drug users and dealers who did not pay during transactions.
“Like most notorious criminals, kining mga tawhana, advanced kaayo ni maghuna-huna. Dili sad ni sila magpasagad og lihok. Sa kadako sa krimen nga ilang gibuhat, kini sila karon halos wala na saligan nga tawo,” said Pelare.
Despite of this, Pelare said they do not want to rush their manhunt operation just because of pressure saying they act based on the information they obtain from their intelligence operatives.
“Kami sa Police Regional Office 7, dili namo ganahan nga hasty ang among operation. Kanang dinali-dali, pressure tungod kay naay mga tawo nga naghuwat. Kami sa PRO-7, kami gusto na gyud kaayo nga mahatagan og hustisya si Police Corporal Baculi,” he stated.
Pelare also pleads to the public to give their operating teams time to ensure that justice for their fallen comrade will prevail as soon as possible.
“Ang among assurance sa publiko, ang kaso ni Police Corporal Baculi gina-focus ug naay concentrated teams, dedicated teams who make sure that we will have a relentless and nonstop manhunt operation,” he added.
A week after the shooting that claimed his life, Baculi was laid to rest at the Triumphant Cross Memorial Park in Carcar City on November.
PRO-7 regional director, Police Brigadier General Anthony Aberin, also visited the policeman’s wake and presented the Philippine National Police (PNP) Heroism Medal for him which was received by his live-in partner, Angel Montealto.
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