A man suspected of being the leader of the group behind the series of robberies in Tagbilaran City was gunned down by police after allegedly resisting arrest during an anti-drug operation on Monday afternoon.
Tagbilaran City Police chief Lt. Col. Christopher Navida identified the fatality as Joseph Paz, 28, of Barangay Cogon in the city.
According to Navida, two alleged cohorts of Paz, Jabar Cadar, 29, and Joselito Otero, 29, were arrested during the same operation for illegal drug possession in Barangay Bool.
The operation was carried out as follow-up to a hot pursuit against the three men who have been tagged as suspects behind the robbery of two women in Tagbilaran City at past 2 a.m. on the same day.
“Yung ginawa nating buy-bust operation actually is in relation to the hot pursuit operation and the follow-up operation doon sa series of robbery-holdup incident na nangyari dito sa Tagbilaran City in which last na nabiktima nila is kaninang madaling araw, employees ng Mang Inasal na tinutukan nila ng baril, then kinuha nila yung mga gamit and shoulder bag. Dalawang babae,” said Navida.
However, the men were not tagged as suspects in the series of robberies in Bohol towns which was reportedly perpetrated by an armed man who rode a gray sedan. Navida said that Paz and his group used a motorcycle when carrying out robberies in Tagbilaran City.
Paz was subjected to a buy-bust operation later in the day and was able to flee along with Cadar and Otero.
They allegedly barged into the house of one Benjamin Jumamil, who for his part, denied knowing any of the suspects.
Paz then allegedly shot at the arresting officers who were trailing him and his cohorts prompting the authorities to shoot back.
Police said that Paz was hit multiple times leading to his immediate death.
Seized from Paz were a packet of shabu and a .45 caliber pistol. Cadar and Otero meanwhile also yielded sachets of shabu.
According to Navida, all three suspects were previously arrested for drug charges but were released after entering into a plea bargaining agreement.
Earlier, Otero was convicted of a carnapping charge and was released after serving time.
Shabu to robbery
The three suspects however were not alone in carrying out the series of robberies in Tagbilaran City. Navida said that there may still be several other perpetrators of the robberies in the city.
He said that drug supply in Tagbilaran City has plummeted prompting illegal narcotics traders to shift to robbery.
According to Navida, another suspected cohort of Paz was arrested last week in Barangay Cogon.