QC Cop charged with murder killed in Manila
A Quezon City policeman who had been Awol (absent without official leave) after he was charged with killing a senior citizen two weeks ago was shot dead by unidentified men in front of his house in Manila on Tuesday.
One of the angles being looked into by investigators was PO1 Jerald Paguinto’s alleged involvement in drugs. However, the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) said it had no information about this.
There were reports, however, that before he joined the QCPD, he was placed on floating status twice by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) for various offenses. Also, for the past 15 years he had been in the force, he was never promoted. At the time of his death, the victim still had the rank of police officer 1.
On March 14, Paguinto was charged with murder for the killing of 68-year-old Julito Ramos.
The 37-year-old Paguinto was gunned down by unidentified assailants in Baseco Compound at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Supt. Emerey Abating of the Ermita police station. He died almost an hour later.
In a report submitted to Senior Supt. Joel Coronel, Manila Police District (MPD) director, the victim was standing outside his house when he was shot.
His neighbors told investigators that Paguinto was a drug coddler, the report said.
In fact, his house at the compound was owned by a “notorious drug lord” known only as “Kagawad,” it added.
According to the report, Paguinto was Kagawad’s hitman who went after drug distributors who failed to remit their earnings to him.
However, Senior Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, QCPD director, said there was nothing in the victim’s background about his involvement in drugs.
Upon his assignment to the QCPD from the NCRPO on October 2016, Paguinto joined the Talipapa police station’s anti-illegal drugs unit.
“The QCPD did not have any background on his illegal drug activities,” Eleazar said. “There were also no irregularities recorded when he was with the QCPD,” he added.
When the Philippine National Police stopped all antidrug operations on Jan. 30, Paguinto became a follow-up operative in the same station.
He went Awol right after he was accused of killing Ramos on March 5.
Witnesses said they saw Paguinto mauling and forcing the elderly man to get his motorbike after an altercation outside a bar.
Ramos’ body was later found near the Manila North Cemetery with hands cuffed behind his back. He had been beaten up and then shot several times.
The QCPD promptly launched a manhunt for Paguinto who went into hiding. —WITH AIE BALAGTAS SEE
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.