ASSASSINS IN ILOILO: Top cop confirms presence of gun-for-hire group

CHIEF Supt. John Bulalacao, Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 director, confirmed the existence of a group of assassins in Iloilo. (Ricky Alejo/file)

CHIEF Supt. John Bulalacao, Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 director, confirmed the existence of a group of assassins in Iloilo.

The disclosure came in the heels of murder incidents in the city and province of Iloilo involving riding-in-tandem gunmen.

“I believe there is a group,” Bulalacao said, referring to an organized group of hired killers.

Investigation showed that one of the two “persons of interest” in the killing of a quail egg trader in Iloilo City is a gun-for-hire, he added.

“That’s one of the things that we’re looking into right now,” Bulalacao said, although he refused to discuss further to avoid giving out operational data that could affect their ongoing investigation.

He added, “so far, one group pa lang but after ma-complete ang aming investigation, we will find out kung ilan ba talaga sila.”

An intelligence community source claimed that Bulalacao might be referring to the group of Reagan Gepulango.

Gepulango along with Johnrie Tiezo and two unidentified men skirted arrest after indulging police officers in a chase evening of May 7, 2018 in Arevalo, Iloilo City.

It is believed that the group was conducting surveillance activities at Villa Carolina Subdivision in Barangay Yulo Drive, particularly on Barangay Captain Visamin “Nonong” Cañal of Quezon, Arevalo.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group earlier said Gepulango is the leader of a newly-identified crime group involved in gun-for-hire, robbery, and carnapping activities.

He was also tagged as the Number 3 most wanted person of Tigbauan, Iloilo.

Another source alleged that one of the group’s member claimed connections with a breakaway rebel group.

 

ISOLATED CASE

Bulalacao also allayed fears of the public following the two brazen murders in Iloilo City.

“I assure the public that these are just isolated cases. Hindi kami magpapahinga hangga’t hindi nabibigyang linaw ito,” he added

Bulalacao stressed that the police is on top of the situation.

He already directed Senior Superintendent Henry Biñas, Iloilo City police chief, and Senior Superintendent Marlon Tayaba, Iloilo provincial police director, to intensify their anti-crime efforts in their respective areas of responsibility.

To recall, tricycle driver was shot dead July 14, 2018 at Barangay Lopez Jaena Sur, La Paz, Iloilo City.

Ely Tipanan, 38, of Barangay Baldoza, La Paz, succumbed to gunshot wounds to the head and back.

A day before, quail egg trader Ranny Bibangco, 33, of Trance St., Barangay 2 in Tigbauan, Iloilo died of a gunshot injury on the forehead inflicted by riding-in-tandem gunmen.

While police have leads on Bibangco’s killing, Bulalacao said investigators are still gathering information on Tipanan’s killers.

Three angles were established on Bibangco’s killings but Bulalacao said that love triangle appears to be the most probable motive.

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