Slain cop was in Mike Rama’s security group
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.
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.
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.
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.