A police officer in the wee hours of Monday was shot dead in Buenavista town by a gunman believed to be multiple-murder suspect Emedio Aparece Jr. who was allegedly in disguise as he carried out the crime in a crowded area.
According to SPO2 Arnold Tayabas of the Buenavista police, SPO1 Alejandro Estorgio was conducting patrols to secure a disco party which was part of the town’s foundation day festivities when he was gunned down at past 1 a.m.
Based on their initial investigation, Tayabas said that the suspect who appeared to be wearing a wig suddenly approached Estorgio and shot him in the head in front of a crowd and while there were Army soldiers and other cops scattered in the vicinity.
Estorgio suffered a gunshot wound in his head which led to his instantaneous death.
According to Tayabas, police were unable to immediately pinpoint the gunman amid the chaos as the crowd including revelers inside the disco area frantically dispersed after the gunshot.
However, Aparece has surfaced as the possible gunman after several persons near the crime scene described the suspect’s appearance to authorities.
Tayabas also said that Estorgio was part of the police team tasked to hunt down Aparece who has been tagged as a gun-for-hire and a suspect in multiple murders in the town.
Several units from the Bohol Provincial Police Office in coordination with the Buenavista police have been deployed to conduct a manhunt operation against Aparece.
Police operatives have centered their pursuit against Aparece in the village of Putingbato which is the fugitive’s suspected hideout.
Aparece has a P-200,000 bounty on his head but the alleged hitman who has been charged with multiple murder raps remained elusive.
SPO4 Rolando Amor, acting police chief of Buenavista, earlier said that residents, particularly those living near Aparece’s hideouts, have not been cooperative in the police’s efforts to catch the suspect.
Villagers are afraid to provide information on the suspect’s whereabouts in fear of drawing his ire, added Amor.
In 2016 and 2017, two village officials of Putingbato, barangay captain Antonio Neones Sr. and councilor Ursolo Petalcorin, respectively, were shot dead in Buenavista.
Authorities believe that they were killed by Aparece after they tipped the police off on his location.
Aparece was also tagged as suspect in multiple killings including that of Benedicto Melencion, a member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit, on March 22, 2017 and of one Jessie Versaga on February 18, 2017. (A. Doydora)