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Living In Cebu Forum. Best Expat Living in Cebu. Find Out Everything On Philippines

Living In Cebu Forum. Best Expat Living in Cebu. Find Out Everything On Philippines

Living In Cebu Forum. Best Expat Living in Cebu. Find Out Everything On Philippines

Living In Cebu Forum. Best Expat Living in Cebu. Find Out Everything On Philippines

Living In Cebu Forum. Best Expat Living in Cebu. Find Out Everything On Philippines

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15 killed in 7 hours

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CEBU, Philippines — Fifteen people were killed across Metro Cebu  in a span of seven hours, including five who died in what police called as  a shooting incident but described by self-claimed survivors as summary execution.


Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, director of Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, was quick to dismiss insinuations that the shooting in Sitio Kan-irag, Barangay Malubog in upland Cebu City was staged by his men.

“We were busy with our One-Time, Bigtime operations, and then he wanted to include us (police)?” Sinas told reporters.

The insinuations stemmed from the statements of two witnesses identified as Charmaine Puran, 25, from Sitio Avocado, Barangay Mambaling, and Antonio Belande, 56, from Barangay Basak San Nicolas.

Interviewed over radio station dyAB Cebu, Belande said he and fellow habal-habal driver Christopher Tangag were contracted by Puran and her companion, a certain “Jovel,” to take them to a mall in Sitio Banawa, Barangay Guadalupe on Wednesday afternoon.

When they arrived at the mall, Puran and Jovel allegedly told the two drivers to wait for them, assuring them of a P200 fare.

While waiting, a group of five to six police officers onboard a white sports utility vehicle suddenly approached them and asked what they were doing. Belande answered they were waiting for their passengers.

Belande thought the men were cops, judging from the uniforms they were wearing, which were covered with jackets. He said the men also addressed someone as “Chief,” and heard the names “Bautista” and “Abella.”

The men then allegedly asked Belande and Tangag to surrender their helmets and keys and then led them to what seemed to be an apartment near the mall. There, Belande and Tangag were joined by Puran and Jovel.

Belande said he was repeatedly told by one of the men to cooperate, so he obliged. But soon, the men tied their hands with a cable wire, blindfolded them, and took them inside a vehicle.

Belande surmised they were in transit and realized the “cops” were in a middle of an operation.

Belande said he was able to untangle his hands and partly dislodged his blindfold while on the way to the upland area of Malubog, some 30-minute drive from Banawa.

When they were asked to alight from the car, he saw a white van and two motorcycles. The vehicles were the ones found at the crime scene yesterday morning, with the van peppered with bullets and containing bodies of five persons bearing gunshot wounds.

Belande said he heard one of the “cops” order to shoot him first. Hearing this, he jumped off a ravine. He was shot and hit in his left leg but survived.

“Ang van ug motor diha na to daan, dili kami tag-iya ato. Pasado alas dos sa kadlawon, padung alas tres. Pagtagsa-tagsa kanaog, kadungog ko ako ang unahon kay niana man, ‘Kana kay dako-dako lawas’ unya ako man pinakadako og lawas. Niambak ko, nigukod pa sila pabuto, kaluy-an tapsing-tapsing ra,” said Belande.

Made to Kneel

Puran, in a separate interview over dySS, revealed that she and Jovel were onboard an SUV with two other passengers but since they were made to wear helmets, she could not identify her companions.

When they arrived in Malubog, she could hear the men who accosted them mumbling incoherently, but assumed there was an operation owing to the bursts of gunfire she heard nearby.

Later, they were told to dismount the vehicle, now with her eyes uncovered. She said she saw three other men arrive onboard another vehicle.

She said that she and the rest were made to kneel and then asked to board a white van (GFF 182) before it was peppered with bullets. The Land Transportation Office-7 yesterday found no record of such van in their registry.

As bullets pierced through the van, Puran managed to crawl underneath the seat.

“Girakrakan man mi nila unya nitago man ko’s pinakailawom nga bangko. Paghuman nila kay ila mi gihikap-hikap tagsa-tagsa, unya pagkita nila nako, gikuptan ko nila kay ila unta ko rakrakan nga ako ra usa.

“Ako man gipatiran ang usa nila. Didto na ninaog ko’s pangpang, wan-a ko kahibaw sa giagian nako. Kapila ko nila gitirahan, tuo sila nakaigo sila nako kay kaduha man ko natumba, pero naligid-ligid ko. Sa sagbot didto ra ko nagtago hangtod buntag,” she said.

She would be found by locals in the morning.

In the radio interview, Puran admitted she and Jovel were supposed to deliver illegal drugs to someone she would meet in the mall.

She also echoed Belande’s statements that the men who were with them all the while were police officers since they were wearing uniforms.

Among the five fatalities, only Tangag had been identified based on his card as a call center agent. Tangag, a neighbor of Belande, fathered a baby boy who was baptized just recently.

Belande and Puran were taken to the Cebu City Medical Center for medical attention.

Belande’s family said they will contact their lawyers on their next move while Puran’s camp has not issued a statement since her interview in the morning.

‘Victims, Too’

For the police, however, it was a “simple” case of shooting. In fact, Sinas clarified that the two “survivors” are also considered as victims.

“Wala magstorya nga pulis. Nag-insinuate lang usa sa inyuha (referring to a radio interview) nga pulis. In fact, wala siya mahadlok sa pulis. Akoa giadtuan. If you don’t like the police, ingna mi kay manghawa mi. Dili ko mag-impluwensya sa inyo statement, just tell it without interference,” said Sinas.

Sinas also said they will not take custody of the two survivors since they are not guilty of any crime. Police will just provide security, he added.

He also said the statements made by Belande and Puran are inadmissible to investigation unless they formalize them in an affidavit.

For her part, Cebu City Police Office Director Senior Supt. Royina Garma said they are still investigating the incident and “look for concrete evidence to know how and why it happened.”

Chief Inspector Dindo Alaras, chief of  Mabolo Police Station, said part of their investigation is to dig deeper into the background of the survivors and the five slain persons.

Police recovered from the white van four unidentified caliber of firearms, mobile phones, tablet, and cash. The vehicles are currently in police custody, subject for trajectory examination for bullet entry and exit.

One-time, Bigtime

Meanwhile, the One-Time, Bigtime of the police resulted in the deaths of 10 suspects who allegedly resisted arrest during a simultaneous implementation of warrants of arrest and buy-bust operations.

In Lapu-Lapu City, police ended up shooting a suspected member of the Ozamiz criminal group identified as Cresolito Unito a.k.a “Adik” when he allegedly fought with the police at around 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday in Barangay Bankal.

Three drug suspects were also killed in a shootout with Cebu City policemen in separate buy-bust operations in Barangays Pasil, Tejero, and Lahug at around 3 a.m. yesterday.

And about the same time in Talisay City, six alleged drug suspects were also killed in police operations in Barangay Tanke.

They were identified as Sherwin Dabasol, 30; Welvin Vinculado, legal age; Cresencio Rafaran a.k.a. “Jr. Adik”; and brothers Duane and Jate Bongo, all residents of the place. All victims were found in possession of .38 caliber revolver with live ammunition, as well as illegal drugs, police said.

The sixth fatality was Jerome Sonsona, also from Tanke.

A total of P10.7 million worth of illegal drugs was fished out from the simultaneous metro-wide operations.  — with Gabriel C. Bonjoc and Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, JMD (FREEMAN)

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