CCPO still waiting for Crame’s report about slain cop’s background
THE Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) could not yet ascertain if the policeman killed in last Friday’s daring noontime ambush in Talisay City was the same person on President Duterte’s narco-list.
Senior Supt. Manuel Abrugena, CPPO director, said that they are still validating if PO3 Micahel Santino Cortes and PO2 Michael C or tez who was on Duterte’s list of narco cops, are one and the same.
Abrugena said that they are seeking the help of the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame to determine if the slain policeman was involved in illegal drugs.
President Duterte released his list of alleged narco cops in August 2016.
The family of Cortes however, denied the allegation and insisted he was just a victim of mistaken identity.
The family said that the name on Duterte’s list was spelled as Michael Cortez while their relative’s name is Micahel Santino Cortes.
Abrugena said that they have referred the matter to Camp Crame and will just wait for the latter to come up with a clarification.
Meanwhile, Supt. Marlu Conag, Talisay City Police chief, said that they are now looking into three possible motives behind the ambush of Cortes which also claimed the lives of three others.
“Tinutumbok po natin ’yung drug-related, gambling-related, at saka personal grudge,” said Conag.
(We are looking into drugs, gambling and personal grudge as possible motives)
Conag said that it is possible that some of the drug suspects arrested by Cortes were seeking revenge.
On the issue of gambling and personal grudge, Conag said that they have received reports that the slain cop is fond of cockfighting.
In fact, a fighting cock was found alive inside the bullet-riddled car of Cortes during Friday’s ambush.
According to witnesses, Cortes, his driver Dennis Patiluna and a companion identified as Jose Soroño were eating lunch at a roadside eatery in Lagtang when a white van arrived and began shooting the victims.
The three were able to board their Kia Sorento but was chased by the suspects in the van along with a motorcycle boarded by two men.
Some 120 meters from the eatery, the lifeless bodies of Cortes and Soroño were found inside the bullet-riddled Kia Sorento while the body of Patiluna was found sprawled on the pavement.
A scavenger, Cresenciana Ranghus who was in the area collecting scraps to sell, was also killed.
In a report submitted by the Crime Laboratory in Central Visayas, operatives recovered 36 slugs of caliber 5.56mm, 11 slugs of caliber .45 and a caliber .45 pistol at the eatery and at the spot where Cortes’ car was found.