Slain cop was in Mike Rama’s se­cu­rity group

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - by Morex­ette Marie B. Er­ram, Nes­tle L. Semilla and Ben­jie B. Tal­isic SLAIN COP 27

THE po­lice­man who was killed in Ale­gria town on Wed­nes­day once worked in the po­lice team se­cur­ing for­mer Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

Slain PO3 Jonathan Ti­los was an as­sis­tant to one of Rama’s close-in body­guards and Rama, in an in­ter­view with ABS-CBN Cebu, con­firmed that Ti­los was part of his se­cu­rity group in 2012.

He was also quoted as say­ing that Ti­los’ unti mely death made him, once again, fear for his life.

But in a fol­low-up phone in­ter­view with CEBU DAILY NEWS, Rama ad­mit­ted the news shocked him but de­nied mak­ing such com­ments about feel­ing un­safe in the wake of the killing of Ti­los.

“He was not among my close-in body guards. With that, he is not di­rectly con­nected to me. And that’s why I don’t feel threat­ened at all. And

be­sides, ever since I was wrongly ac­cused to be a drug pro­tec­tor, there’s so many threats,” said Rama.

“I don’t even know him per­son­ally, and I haven’t in­ter­acted with him up close. My for­mer se­cu­rity head was the one who let him within the se­cu­rity group so I guess he has more knowl­edge on Of­fi­cer Ti­los,” he added.

Ever since he was tagged by Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte as an al­leged narco-politi­cian in 2016, Rama had been vo­cal on ex­press­ing fear for his own life.

But when he had the chance to per­son­ally talk with Pres­i­dent Duterte last March, the for­mer mayor an­nounced there was noth­ing to fear any­more.

Drug pro­tec­tors?

Ti­los, who was as- signed in Gi­nati­lan Po­lice Sta­tion, was the sec­ond po­lice­man killed in Cebu in less than a week.

Last Sun­day night, June 10, Se­nior Insp. Ray­mond Hortezuela, who was as­signed in the Ne­gros Ori­en­tal Pro­vin­cial Po­lice Of­fice (NOPPO), was fa­tally shot by fel­low po­lice­men af­ter he al­legedly re­sisted ar­rest dur­ing a drug buy-bust op­er­a­tion in Barangay Tipolo, Man­daue City.

The Po­lice Re­gional Of­fice in Cen­tral Visayas (PRO-7) main­tained Hortezuela was killed in a le­git­i­mate po­lice op­er­a­tion. Hortezuela, who was pre­vi­ously as­signed to the Cebu City Po­lice Of­fice, was al­legedly in­volved in the drug trade op­er­a­tion.

Ti­los, 36, was about to board his Toy­ota Hilux pick-up truck when he was re­peat­edly shot by an as­sailant in Barangay Pobla­cion, Ale­gria town, lo­cated over 120 kilo­me­ters south­west of Cebu City, around 8 p.m. on Wed­nes­day, June 13.

Like Hortezuela, Ti­los was also tagged as an al­leged drug pro­tec­tor.

It can be re­called that the Man­daue City Po­lice Of­fice( MC PO) an­nounced that Hortezuela was one of the tar­gets of the Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency in Cen­tral Visayas (PDEA-7) for his al­leged drug trade in­volve­ment, par­tic­u­larly the al­le­ga­tion that he was the pro­tec­tor of slain drug lord Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz.

In a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day, Cebu Pro­vin­cial Po­lice Of­fice (CPPO) direc­tor Se­nior Supt. Manuel Abru­gena also con­firmed that Ti­los was in­cluded in their list of po­lice of­fi­cials al­legedly linked to the il­le­gal drugs trade.

Abru­gena also said they re­ceived re­ports that Ti­los had ties with self-con­fessed drug lord Franz Sa­balones.

Per­sonal grudge

Bu Abru­gena said they were eye­ing per­sonal grudge as mo­tive in killing Ti­los es­pe­cially af­ter ini­tial re­ports showed that the lat­ter was en­gaged with a heated ar­gu­ment with a still uniden­ti­fied per­son shortly be­fore he was shot dead.

“We can­not dis­count the pos­si­bil­ity that the killing may have some­thing to do with his (Ti­los) in­clu­sion in the nar- co-list but the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to de­ter­mine the mo­tive will fo­cus on per­sonal grudges be­cause he got into an al­ter­ca­tion be­fore he was killed,” said Abru­gena.

Po­lice re­port stated that he ar­gued with an uniden­ti­fied per­son be­fore he went in­side a gym in Ale­gria town. The gun­man at­tacked Ti­los when the lat­ter went out of the gym.

Ac­cord­ing to Abru­gena, Ti­los suf­fered gun­shot wound in the head, and other parts in the body.

“No one was able to iden­tify the as­sailant. We are now go­ing af­ter the per­son whom he had a heated ar­gu­ment,” he added.

Abru­gena also said they are now con­sid­er­ing the per­son whom Ti­los had an ar­gu­ment with as a “per­son of in­ter­est” in killing the po­lice of­fi­cer.

“We have also re­ceived anorder­fromPRO-7(Cen­tral Visayas Po­lice Re­gional Of­fice) to dig deeper into the case,” he added.

Jus­tice

The fam­ily of Ti­los is seek­ing jus­tice.

One of his chil­dren, who re­quested to be re­ferred only as AJ, de­nied claims that her fa­ther had ties with Sa­balones, and that he was in­volved in il­le­gal drugs.

“All the neg­a­tive com­ments in so­cial me­dia are not true. I know my fa­ther. He is good. Peo­ple would tell that he is bad but for me he is a good fa­ther,” AJ said.

She added that their fam­ily be­lieved that Ti­los’ death was work-re­lated.

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