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HAVE YOU SEEN THIS ‘KILLER?’
PRO3 releases artist sketch of Bulacan town cop chief’s ‘killer’
THE Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) on Monday released the artist sketch of the motorcycle-riding thief who shot to death the chief of the San Miguel Municipal Police Station in Bulacan late night Saturday.
The suspect’s sketch was drawn by an artist from the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) based on the description given by a couple from Barangay San Juan, San Miguel whom he and a cohort tried to rob at gunpoint around 9 p.m. last Saturday.
PNP chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr., in behalf of the 227,000-strong police organization offered his deepest sympathies and prayers to the family of the slain police officer and vowed that justice will be served them.
The top cop also ordered the immediate release of all PNP benefits due the fallen officer who will be given a hero’s burial. A total of P1.2 million has been offered for any information that will lead to the capture of the suspects: P500,000 raised by Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ C. Abalos Jr., P200,000 from Gen. Azurin, P300,000 from the Police Regional Office 3 headed by Brigadier Gen. Jose S. Hidalgo Jr. and P200,000 from Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando.
PNP spokesperson, Colonel Jean Fajardo said the suspect was hacked and wounded by the husband of a ‘sari-sari store’ owner from Bgy. San Juan whom they tried to hold up.
“The PRO3 already has leads regarding the suspect and his cohorts. PRO3 director, Brig. Gen. Hidalgo has ordered the entire Central Luzon police force to join hands in tracking down these cop killers,” Fajardo said.
It turned out that the two motorbike-riding suspects tried to rob the store owner in Bgy. San Juan but the latter’s husband bravely fought the man with the gun. The two scuffled for the possession of the firearm until the storeowner’s husband managed to hack the suspect in the head prompting the gunman to fire a shot which hit the woman’s leg.
After the duo escaped, the man immediately rushed to the San Miguel police station to report the foiled robbery prompting officers led by their chief, Lieutenant Colonel Marlon G. Serna to launch a massive hot pursuit operation.
Col. Fajardo said Lt. Col. Serna was in the station when the man filed the report prompting him to lead the hot pursuit operation using his own pick-up. Two policemen were with the official while three others joined them on board their marked vehicle.
The official and his men later encountered the suspect in Bgy. Buhol na Mangga, San Ildefonso where the former was shot in the head and died in a nearby hospital.
“We received the report that the brave San Miguel police chief and his men chanced upon a motorcycle with a bloodied back-rider prompting them to accost the suspects. Duguan yung suspect kasi nga nataga nung biktima nila sa San Miguel,” Fajardo said.
However, while about to be accosted, the suspect fired shots that hit the official.
Fajardo said that all hospitals and clinics in Bulacan and its nearby provinces are being checked for any person with a hack wound in the head. “There is already an all-out operation against the suspects as of press time,” she said.
The PNP spokesperson also said it was not the 1st time that a police chief has joined his men in tracking down fleeing criminals. “It is just unfortunate that Lt. Col. Serna was killed in the performance of duty. This is actually one of the occupational hazards of being a policeman,” she added.
A 17-year old teenager identified as Jay Jay Gabriel, a resident of Bgy. Soledad in Sta. Rosa City, Nueva Ecija was also wounded in the incident and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
An initial investigation conducted by the San Ildefonso MPS led by Lt. Col. Russel Denis E. Reburiano showed that prior to the shooting incident, a team of San Miguel policemen led by Lt. Col. Serna conducted a follow-up operation regarding a robbery incident in Bgy. San Juan, San Miguel which took place around 9:30 p.m.
The San Miguel policemen were in a dimly-lit portion of Bgy. Buhol na Mangga, San Ildefonso when the suspects launched their attack.
Lt. Col. Serna, who used his own Ford Ranger pick-up in going after the suspects was shot in the head by the gunmen who later fled towards the direction of nearby Bgy. Akle.
The suspects were reported to be riding a Mio motorcycle.
Gen. Azurin ordered the PRO3 and the Bulacan Police Provincial Office to launch a massive manhunt for the suspects and conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.
The PNP also wished for the speedy recovery of the injured teenager.
“We ask the public to remain calm and to refrain from spreading unverified information that may cause panic and confusion. Let us support the ongoing investigation and trust that justice will be served,” said Bulacan police director, Col. Relly B. Arnedo.
Brig. Gen. Hidalgo said there will be no stone left unturned in the investigation into the circumstances that led to the killing of the San Miguel, Bulacan police chief.
“This is unfortunate news for us as one of our members was killed in line with our diligent effort to arrest lawless elements and while nothing can make up for his loss, along with our deepest condolences, we assure his bereaved family that they will get the necessary benefits that is due to them,” the Central Luzon police director said.
“Still, we are committed in our fight against all forms of criminality and we will continue to be relentless in our campaign at all costs,” he added.