November 30, 2023

3 suspects in cops’ slay in Pampanga nabbed, another killed in shootout

By Justine Rich Talusan

THREE suspects in the killing of two anti-narcotics cops in  Mabalacat City, Pampanga were arrested during a pursuit operation while one was slain in a shootout with the authorities .

Police Regional Office 3 director Brig. Gen. Cesar Pasiwen said arrested were  prime suspect Jun Jun Espiritu Baluyut,  44, of  Xevera Subdivision, Bgy, Tabun;  electrician Aries Espiritu Bagsic,  40,   of Bgy. Lakandula; and  online seller Leslie Placiente, 30,   of Bgy. Dau, all in Mabalacat City.

The three  were arrested on Saturday in Bgy. Dau while a motorcycle  with bloodstains believed to be one of the motorbikes used by the  perpetrators was seized from Baluyut.

PSMS Capitle Jr. and PSSg GacusanJr. of the Mabalacat City Police Station Drug Enforcement Unit were about to board a motorcycle after an anti-narcotics operation around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday when shot by five armed men.

Witnesses said the suspects alighted from their motorcycles and, at point-blank, shot the victims in the head.

Police immediately conducted a pursuit operation that led to the arrest of three of the five suspects.

Meanwhile,  personnel of the Mabalacat City police manning a checkpoint tried to  flag down a rider of a  plateless  motorcycle.

 However, the rider did not stop but instead fired shots at the police officers , which led  to a  shootout, killing the rider.

 The cops later identified the rider  as Kiel Patrick Chua , who was found out to be a cohort in the killing of the two Mabalacat cops,  based on the  extra-judicial confession of Baluyut.

 Recovered from Chua were one cal. .45 pistol and  a motorcycle.

Pasiwen said  the fifth suspect identified as Kenneth Flores is still  being hunted after the service firearm of one of the slain cops was recovered at the  roof gutter of the house owned by Flores.

“We will have no respite until all the perpetrators are caught. Even if two of our members were killed in line with our diligent efforts to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs, still we are committed in our waging war against this menace. We will continue to be relentless in our campaign at all costs,” Pasiwen vowed