The provincial police force kicks off the new year by successfully putting an end to the operations of a top caliber gun-for-hire and suspected drug pusher after he was shot dead by members of the Provincial Police Safety Company (PPSC) in Barangay Nabuwan, Inabanga past 9:30 last night.
Renato Petalcorin, 35,Â and his nephew identified as Daniel Calape, 23, both married and armed with .45 caliber handguns were gunned down after they resisted and tried to engage the PPSC officers in a shoot-out.
Petalcorin is also reportedly in the list of drug personalities operating in the second congressional district based in Inabanga town.
PNP Prov’l Director Dennis Agustin toldÂ The ChronicleÂ that operatives are hot in pursuit of police characters who might be hired by politicians with the elections barely four months away. The Bohol PNP holds a short list of these gun-for-hire personalities, Agustin added.
According to PO3 Jose Mitchell Niola, Chief Investigator of the Inabanga Police Station, Petalcorin was among suspected hitmen involved in the slaying of SPO1 Herminigildo Abella in 2013, a few months after the intense elections in Inabanga. Also linked to other killings, Petalcorin was noted to be a “professional” gun for hire, according to the police.
Calape, a habal-habal (motorcycle for hire) driver, was also found armed with a .45 caliber but had a clean record with the police.
According to initial reports from PO3 Richard Timbal, PPSC-SWAT Investigator, Calape’s .45 caliber handgun was tucked inside a sling bag when the shooting erupted after Petalcorin drew a .45 caliber handgun from his waist.
Petalcorin and Calape, both residents of Sitio Canta-oy, Baogo, Inabanga were on their way home from Poblacion Inabanga when they were flagged down by a four man team of the PPSO along the Inabanga highway.
Petalcorin was under surveillance after intelligence reports reached the police about a plan hatched by a group of hired guns to liquidate a PPSC-SWAT officer.
Acting on an intelligence information, PPSC officers positioned themselves along the highway when they spotted an incoming motorcycle with two men on board.
The police flagged down the motorcycle with no plates but Petalcorin, according to the police report, pulled out his .45 handgun and tried to engage the SWAT team but was felled by superior gunfire from the PPSC.
A PPSC detachment is stationed in Barangay Nabuwan, Inabanga where a suspected lair of contract killers are holed out in the hinterlands of Barangay Liloan and Baogo, Inabanga.
Timbal also toldÂ The ChronicleÂ that Petalcorin was into the illicit drug trade and was a suspect in several killings in Inabanga and Buenavista.Â (Chito M. Visarra)