Police kill 3 suspects in Batangas cop’s murder | Inquirer News

Police kill 3 suspects in Batangas cop’s murder

LEMERY, Batangas—Two men and their woman companion tagged in what was believed to be the drug-related murder of a police officer were killed in a clash with police in this town Saturday.

The three, all on board a motorcycle, were killed following a short chase and a gunfight with police after they sped through a checkpoint on

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Diokno Highway in Barangay Mahayahay at daybreak Saturday, said Supt. Omega Jireh Fidel, chief of the police Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB).

The three were riding a motorcycle, driven by one of the two men, which had no license plate, when they were flagged down at the RPSB checkpoint at around 4 a.m. “But instead of pulling over, they eluded the checkpoint prompting a (police) chase,” Fidel said.

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He said that upon reaching the adjoining village of Mahabang Dahilig, the suspects fired at the policemen, who fired back and killed the three on the spot at around 4:15 a.m.

Recovered from the crime scene were two .45-cal. pistols and a .38-cal. revolver, according to Supt. Arcadio Ronquillo, Batangas police information officer.

Fidel said the three remained unidentified but a ranking police official, who requested anonymity for lack of authority to speak on the matter, said the three were involved in the murder of former Batangas police intelligence officer Supt. Rodney Ramirez, who also lived in Lemery.

Ramirez was ambushed on July 12 while biking for his morning exercise in the adjacent town of Taal.

The source said intelligence reports revealed that the suspects were former rebels hired by a local politician, who was involved in the illegal drug trade.

The source said they learned of the involvement of the local official through the L-300 van, which the suspects abandoned after the ambush.

Chief Supt. Gil Meneses, police director of Calabarzon who was reached for comment yesterday, said police were still verifying the information pointing to the local official.

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The murder of Ramirez remained unsolved at the moment, he stressed. Incidentally, the encounter took place just a few hours before Ramirez was laid to rest here on Saturday morning.

“We strongly condemn the murder of a fellow police official and we will not stop until justice is served,” said Senior Supt. Gilbert Cruz, Laguna police director and Ramirez’s former superior, in behalf of the Philippine National Police Academy Alumni Association.

Earlier, however, the New People’s Army (NPA) claimed responsibility for the assassination of Ramirez.

The NPA’s Eduardo Dagli Command in Batangas said Ramirez was sentenced to death for a number of alleged “criminal cases and blood debts.”

Ramirez, when he was police chief of Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, was allegedly responsible for the killing of activist Sabina “Sabeng” Ariola in March 2009, claimed the NPA unit’s spokesperson Apolinario Matienza in a statement e-mailed to the Inquirer on Thursday.

The statement couldn’t be independently verified, however.

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TAGS: Crime, Drugs, Murder, Police
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