7 cops tagged in Calbayog mayor’s slay under restrictive custody, says Eleazar

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2021 07:58 AM

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MANILA—Seven police officers involved in the killing of Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino are now under the Philippine National Police’s restrictive custody to face the National Bureau of Investigation’s probe on the incident.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said Friday the police officers would be placed under the custody of the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group and Police Regional Office of Eastern Visayas.

"Nagbigay ako ng direktiba sa kanila na ilagay na under restrictive custody 'yong mga pulis na na-implicate doon (I've ordered to place the police officers implicated in the case to be under restrictive custody), while we will be cooperating with the investigation," Eleazar told Teleradyo.

The NBI on Thursday filed murder and frustrated murder complaints before the Department of Justice against the 7 police personnel. They were identified as Police Lt. Col. Harry Sucayre, Police Maj. Shyrile Tan, Police Capt. Dino Goles, Police Lt. Julio Armeza Jr., Police Senior Sgt. Neil Cebu, Police Senior Sgt. Edsel Omega and Patrolman Nino Salem.

Eleazar said the NBI's filing of complaints against the police officers was a "welcome development." 

"Nakakalungkot talaga pero hindi tayo puwedeng panghinaan ng loob sa programang (internal cleasning) ito. In fact, 'yon nga ang nagbibigay sa akin ng lalo pang determinasyon at motivation para lalo pa nating palakasin pa," he said.

(It's saddening but we can't be discouraged in this program. In fact, we're more determined to make it stronger.)

Aquino was shot at least 21 times in Barangay Lonoy, Calbayog on March 8 in what witnesses described as an ambush. The police initially described the incident as a shootout.

The incident also left 5 others dead. They were identified as Aquino's close-in security detail Police Senior Sgt. Rodio Sario; his driver Dennis Abayon; Police Capt. Joselito Tabada; Police Senior Sgt. Romeo Laoyon; and Clint John Paul Yauder, a civilian.