SAN FERNANDO CITY – PNP Regional Director PCSupt. Leopoldo Bataoil has ordered a parallel manhunt operation against the suspects in the killing of Rep. Luis Bersamin Jr. as Abra is an adjacent province of the Ilocos in support of the ongoing investigation as ordered by PNP Director General Oscar C. Calderon.
Bersamin and his bodyguard, SPO1 Adelfo Ortega were shot to death outside Mt. Carmel Church in Quezon City where the congressman stood as sponsor at the wedding of his niece.
A few days later, retired Army M/Sgt. Rufino Panday, was arrested in connection with the killing.
Panday told investigators that he served as a lookout in the operation which was allegedly ordered by a politician.
Bataoil also ordered the provincial directors of Region 1 to confer with their respective political leaders and assess any possible threat against them and review their current security arrangement.
Bataoil said the provincial directors are directed to submit their report on the actions they have undertaken to deter any possible untoward incident in the aftermath of the Bersamin killing.
Meanwhile, in a press statement, Gen Calderon said: “This case will not pass as mere statistics. The combined might of the CIDG, QCPD, Crime Lab, and Intel Group have been put together under a task force headed by Police Dir. Jesus Verzosa to identify and prosecute the perpetrators of this dastardly act.”
Calderon also said he was considering replacing the Abra policemen especially those identified with politicians.
He said he had deployed a platoon from the elite Special Action Force to enforce law and order in the province.
Calderon likewise ordered the PNP Regional Office in Cordillera to closely monitor the situation in Abra and not discounting local politics as the motive behind the murder.
Director Versoza said the task force has taken custody of 10 people including witnesses and former soldiers in connection with the Bersamin slay.