Getafe PNP chief relieved

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Getafe PNP chief relieved

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Loose guard theory prompted the police regional director to boot out Getafe chief of police, Senior Insp. Marcelino Mejias.

Effective today, Mejias will be reporting to the Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) at Camp Dagohoy in Tagbilaran City and wait for his new assignment.

The Philippine National Police hierarchy still has to name Mejias’ replacement.

Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 regional director, Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr., issued the order to relieve Mejias for failing to arrest Rowen Secretaria and his gang who had been holding base on Banacon Island in Getafe for illegal drugs trade.

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Comendador expressed disappointment  that Mejias failed to corner Secretariat and his gang when it would only take 20 minutes to cross from the mainland where the municipal police office is located to the island village of Banacon by pumpboat.

Secretaria, also known as “Yawa”, who had been tagged as one of Cebu drug conduits making good as druglord in Bohol and two of his three companions died in a shootout with Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group early morning on Saturday.

The two other men killed during the shootout were later identified as Dario Torremocha and John Jason Montes.

The 22-year-old Montes hailed from barangay Ermita, Cebu City.

The composite team of RAIDSOTG-7 led by PSI Henrix Bancoleta, Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB-7) and the Provincial Intelligence Branch of Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) swooped down the hideout of the drug suspects in Banacon Island in Getafe at around 4:30 a.m. on May 28.

The Cebu-based police team came to serve the warrant of arrest for Secretaria for violation of section 11 under Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 docketed as Criminal Case No. 13-2978.

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The warrant of arrest was issued by Presiding Judge Irma Zita Masamayor of the Regional Trial Court Branch 52 in Talibon.

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Instead of yielding himself to the Cebu police team, Secretaria and his men allegedly opened fire at the police team.

This prompted the cops to fire back to subdue Secretaria and company.

One of the three men who were with Secretaria, one Ricardo Lamotos Ostolano—a 26-year-old jobless resident of Calituban Island in Talibon—survived though wounded from the shootout.

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Secretaria, Torremocha and Montes were dead on arrival at Garcia Memorial Hospital in Talibon, while the wounded Ostolano was transferred to Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital for further medical attention and treatment.

Recovered from the crime scene were one KG-9, one caliber 45 pistol and two caliber .38 revolvers.

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Police Supt. Ricky Delelis, information officer of the Bohol Provincial Police Office, said intelligence officers had been tracking down Secretaria for years already.

He said the police had been an elusive target, and had, in fact, successfully evaded authorities when an operation against him was supposedly conducted last year.

Secretaria had been in the illegal drugs trade in Lapu-lapu City, Cebu for several years already that his name had been in the list of big-time drug personalities in Cebu and Bohol.

For his part, Mejias explained that Secretariat was really elusive, since the latter would seldom stay long on Banacon Island.

It gave the local police a hard time calculating on the moves of Secretaria, according to Mejias.

Nevertheless, Mejias is willing to comply with the relief order from PRO-7.

VENDETTA?

Around 12 hours after the shootout that killed Secretariat and two of three suspected cohorts, a carpenter working for Secretaria and his wife were found dead with gunshot wounds in a cemetery on Banacon Island.

The victims were identified as Christopher Hermosara Dejacto, 39, and his wife, Ma. Theresa Cañete Dejacto, both residents of barangay Ermita in Cebu City, the same place where Secretaria resided.

PO3 Roel Lagura, assistant police investigator of the Getafe Police Station, said they received a report at around from a concerned citizen 4:20 p.m. on Saturday about two bodies found inside a cemetery on the island-village.

Scene of the crime operatives recovered three empty shells of .45 caliber ammunitions and five empty shells of still unknown caliber.

Lagura said the couple’s child, CJ Christopher, a Grade 8 student, told the police that he last saw his parents at 2 p.m. that day.

The couple and their four children had lived on the island village for almost two months yet.

Investigators look into two angles in the crime—one is personal grudge against the couple, and the other is the possibility that persons close to Secretaria might have vented ire on the couple on suspicion that they were the ones who reported his activities to the police.

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