Latest Stories

PNP chief admits gang leaders’ killing a rubout

14 cops face raps in deaths of 2 gangsters


It was a rubout all right.

Director General Alan Purisima, the Philippine National Police chief, confirmed Tuesday observations that policemen intentionally killed last week two robbery-holdup syndicate members while in their custody.

Purisima made the confirmation as he announced that he had approved the administrative charges against a police superintendent and 13 others for the deaths of Ozamiz gang leader Ricky Cadavero and his henchman, Wilfredo Panogalinga Jr.

“I have already approved the precharge evaluation of those involved in the Cadavero and Panogalinga case because it appears in the investigation that there have been violations committed,” Purisima told reporters in Camp Crame.

He said an internal investigation confirmed that no firefight took place when the two suspects were killed in San Pedro, Laguna province.

The officers will reportedly be charged with grave misconduct which could carry a maximum penalty of dismissal from the service.

Supt. Danilo Mendoza, head of the Calabarzon (Region IV-A) Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG), three other police officials and 10 police officers who escorted the Ozamiz gang leaders on July 15 were suspended a day after the killings.

The Calabarzon police director, Chief Supt. Benito Estipona, whom Interior Secretary Mar Roxas had also relieved from duty, was spared from the administrative charges.

Others facing administrative charges are Senior Inspectors Manuel Magat and Fernando Cardona; Insp. Efren Oco; Senior Police Officers 1 Joseph Ortega and Jayson Semacas; Police Officers 3 Sherwin Bulan, Ramil Gonzales, Marvin Mejia and Eduardo Cruz—all from RSOG;

Police Officers 2 Conrado Bautista, Exiel Reyes and Kristofferson Reyes, and PO1 Ryan Rey Gado—all from the Regional Public Safety Battalion.

Purisima said he acted on the recommendation of the internal investigating team led by Director Catalino Cuy, PNP director for personnel and records management, who had pieced together what transpired based on evidence and witnesses’ testimony.

No firefight

The investigation revealed “that there was no firefight in the incident,” the PNP chief said.

Cadavero and Panogalinga were presented to the media in Camp Crame by Roxas and Purisima on the morning of July 15.

That night at about 6:30, they were killed in Laguna supposedly while on the way to the RSOG headquarters in Calamba City.

Their police escorts claimed Cadavero and Panogalinga were shot when they tried to escape as motorcycle-riding men fired at one of the police vehicles in a supposed attempt to spring the gang leaders.

Purisima said the two suspects were supposed to be turned over to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City (for inquest proceedings and incarceration) after the press conference in Camp Crame.

The RSOG brought the two men to the NBP where they changed vehicles and drove to their camp in Dasmariñas City, Cavite province, supposedly for an inquest.

Long route

The RSOG vehicle carrying Cadavero and Panolinga took a long route via Laguna province, where gunmen on motorcycle allegedly ambushed the police vehicle.

But a witness belied the RSOG claim that gunmen on motorcycle tried to spring the two men. The witness interviewed by the Inquirer on July 17 said he saw two vehicles—a black Montero and a yellow Lancer—that blocked the road in the secluded area near the gate to KC Golf Country Club.

The witness said a man in jeans and camouflage jacket stepped out of the Montero with a drawn gun and ordered him to leave as a shooting would ensue shortly.

The witness said he saw two other cars in the middle of the road some 300 meters from where he was.

Looking for motive

When he was about to leave, he said a van arrived and he heard gunfire. The van turned out to be the RSOG vehicle carrying Cadavero and Panolinga.

Asked if Cadavero and Panogalinga were deliberately killed by their police escorts, Purisima said: “It appears that way.”

The PNP chief, however, acknowledged that the PNP had yet to finish its investigation to find out the motive for Cadavero and Panogalinga’s deaths.

“We are finding out the motive, but we are conducting a thorough investigation on the connection of those involved,” Purisima said.

Cadavero allegedly had a number of policemen on his pay, according to the slain suspect’s sister.

Cadavero and Panogalinga bolted from prison late last year but were recaptured on July 12 in Dasmariñas City. They were slapped with a new case of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Cadavero’s group was said to be behind the escape of two convicted Chinese drug traffickers in Trece Martires City, also in Cavite, five months ago.

NBI probe

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Tuesday said the National Bureau of Investigation was expected to complete very soon its probe of the deaths of Cadavero and Panogalinga.

“I don’t know if they were able to get all the necessary evidence, but since they are really working on it quite seriously, then I expect that the resolution of the case won’t take long,” De Lima told reporters.

She said President Aquino, who mentioned the case in his State of the Nation Address on Monday, was “alarmed” at what happened as the incident came after the Atimonan killings.

Investigators found out that police officers and soldiers killed a group of armed men in Atimonan, Quezon province, and made it appear to be a shootout.

De Lima said the “suspicious circumstances” surrounding the deaths of Cadavero and Panogalinga “tend to show that it appears that there is a syndicate and it involves policemen.”

“Who is protecting that syndicate with Cadavero has the motive of silencing him,” the justice secretary said.—With a report from Christine Avendaño

Originally posted: 6:25 pm | Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Related story:

Rubout likely in Ozamiz gang leaders’ death

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Alan Purisima , Crime , Ozamiz gang , Philippine National Police , PNP , Police , Ricky Cadavero , rubout , Wilfredo Panogalinga , Wilfredo Panogalinga Jr.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Cebu has hair of John Paul II and piece of John XXIII’s skin
  • LTRFB denies Victory Liner appeal
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • Marketplace