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PNP to look into Cebu mayor’s link to ‘narco-cops’

The Police Regional Office (PRO-7) on Thursday said it will probe the alleged links between a local chief executive here to policemen whose names appeared in a drug watch list.

Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, PRO-7 (Central Visayas) regional director, said his office will dig deeper into the actuations of Mayor Tomas Osmeña who is said to have always been reacting to killings involving policemen with alleged sketchy background, an act which he described as “fishy”.

On Tuesday, the regional police chief reacted to the mayor’s Facebook post stating that “the father of the girl who made this post about being harassed by policemen was murdered today.”

The mayor was referring to Capt. Delfin Bontuyan, former chief investigator of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7), who was killed by four unidentified men while driving his motorcycle along St. John Paul II Ave. in Barangay Mabolo this city.

Christine Bontuyan, the incumbent Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairperson of Talamban village, posted on her social media page alleging that masked policemen harassed her while manning the voter’s assistance center of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), local party of the mayor, last May 13 elections.

Sinas said the police will look into the reasons why the mayor keeps on commenting about the incidents involving policemen investigated for allegedly having links to drugs.

“Kami maghimo na sad mi (We will make our own) assessment… the said person was reported to be involved in drugs,” he said, stressing that “if the mayor concluded, puede ba sad namo ma-conclude na siya pud” (can we also conclude that he’s) protecting those policemen with drug links?

If the mayor “concluded without premise” that policemen were behind the killing of Bontuyan, “can we also conclude without premise about his links?” he asked.

He said the mayor has been claiming he personally visited these policemen who have been killed and that he has been visiting their graves despite their alleged involvement to illegal drugs in Cebu.

The regional director of the PRO-7 said if the mayor cares for all members of the police force in Cebu, he would not only dare to see Bontuyan and SPO2 Adonis Dumpit.

Osmeña was seen on TV footage and social media post checking the scene where Bontuyan was killed last Tuesday.

Sinas said the mayor also visited the wake of Dumpit, his close-in bodyguard killed in an anti-drug operation of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Tagbilaran City June last year. He also claimed to have shouldered the expenses for Dumpit’s burial.

Osmeña reportedly bailed out Dumpit from Abuyog Penal Colony in Leyte and flew him back to Cebu shortly after he won again as mayor in 2016. Dumpit who was freed under bail was convicted for killing a robbery suspect and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

In 2017, the mayor named Dumpit as “caretaker” of Ermita, the drug-infested market village here after its barangay chairman, Felicisimo Rupinta, was suspended by the Ombudsman for his alleged failure to assist the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in its anti-drug operations in the barangay.

For his part, Osmeña said the police should not divert the fact that Bontuyan’s daughter was harassed by policemen days before he was killed after attending a court hearing on a drug case where the police captain stood as complainant.

Lt. Col. Hector Amancia, chief of the CIDG-7, said his office may assist probers in solving the murder of their former colleague.

Amancia, however, said they are waiting for Sinas’ directive on the matter. (By John Rey Saavedra)

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