THE Police Regional Office 7 yesterday said they are looking into the possibility that the suspects who killed a policeman manning a patrol car in Minglanilla, Cebu early morning Saturday could also be the same gunmen who shot another man in Talisay City 10 minutes earlier.
PRO7 director, Brigadier General Debold M. Sinas said prior to the killing of Staff Sergeant Alfredo Pagaling, there was also another shooting incident in Barangay Fooda Linao in Talisay City wherein one Jude Romarez was shot several times in the body by two unidentified men riding a black motorcycle.
The official said the back rider was identified by an eyewitness as the one who shot Romarez around 2:40 a.m. Saturday.
Sinas said CCTV recordings of the Minglanilla Municipal Traffic Command Center showed that the black motorcycle could be the same motorbike whose occupants passed by at the parked mobile car before firing shots that hit SSgt. Pagaling.
“The first shooting incident took place in an area which is less than a kilometer away from where SSgt. Pagaling was killed,” the Central Visayas police director said.
He added that investigators are still reviewing the CCTV footages in the two areas and are interviewing witnesses as part of their effort to establish the real identities of the suspects.
According to the official, it appears that an ‘unlucky single shot’ fired by one of the suspects struck the head of Pagaling killing him on the spot.
Members of the Talisay City Police Station and the Minglanilla Municipal Police Station have joined hands in tracking down the killers.
Sinas said Pagaling suffered a bullet wound in the head which exited in his right temple and died while being taken to the South General Hospital in Naga, Cebu.
Sinas added investigation showed SSgt. Pagaling and Corporal Allan Villasurda have just finished their patrol in Barangay Lipata in Minglanilla town when they parked their service Toyota Hi-Lux at the designated standby-point area in front of the 7-Eleven Convenience Store located along the national road in Bgy. Linao-Lipata.
Shortly after, the two heard a gunshot which prompted Villasurda to alight from the vehicle to check where the gunfire came from. Failing to find any commotion in the area, the latter returned to their patrol vehicle where he found SSgt. Pagaling behind the wheel with blood oozing from his right temple.
Immediately, the policeman called for back-up and informed his chief of the incident. Officers rushed to the site and conducted a dragnet operation which yielded negative result.
Cebu Police Provincial Office director, Colonel Rhoderick Mariano said they have taken the full statement of Villasurda and other witnesses in the area.
A team of forensic experts from the Regional Crime Laboratory Office 7 led by Major Maria Lela Carado processed the scene.