Central Visayas’ top cop Brigadier General Valeriano de Leon on Friday said that Lieutenant Col. Joie Yape of the Philippine National Police’s Internal Affairs Service who was shot dead by still unidentified gunmen in Cebu City was investigating “many cases” prior to his death.
De Leon, in an interview with Cebu reporters on Friday morning, said that the killing may have been “job-related” but they are not discounting other angles.
“Sa nakikita ko, maaring ‘yung dati niyang katungkulan. He was once the provincial [intelligence] chief of Cebu Provincial Police Office at nandito siya pare mag-attend ng isang hearing,” said de Leon.
Yape, 49, who was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men who rode in tandem in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City at 5:35 p.m. on Thursday was once the chief of the CPPO’s Provincial Intelligence Branch, the Calbayog City police force in Samar, and the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group in Central Visayas.
He was also a former spokesperson for the Bohol Provincial Police Office.
De Leon noted that police are already looking into pieces of footage from closed-circuit television cameras mounted around the crime scene but admitted that it may “take a while” given that Kamputhaw is a large and heavily populated village.
Meanwhile, a task force has been formed to hasten the probe on the case.
“Merong task force ginawa. Automatic ‘yan because he is a public official,” said De Leon.
De Leon, in a separate press statement, said that Yape was walking with his wife along Molave Street near the Wellcome Hotel when he was shot by the suspects.
Yape was rushed to the Perpetual Succour Hospital in Cebu City but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physicians. He died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Col. Geovanie Maines, Deputy Regional Director for Operations (DRDO) and Cebu City Police officer-in-charge in concurrent capacity, said the attackers were wearing helmets.
“The victim while walking together with his wife along the said place, one of the suspects shoot the victim. The suspects sped off towards Escario Street,” he said.
Maines said Yape was assigned at the National Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
In 2014, Yape was assigned in Bohol as the BPPO’s spokesperson before he was deployed to Cebu.
He was notably the Bohol police force’s mouthpiece who handled public and press relations during nationally covered incidents in the province including the fatal shooting of dyRD media man Maurito Lim, the grenade blast at the Inabanga market which left two people dead and at least 12 injured and the shootout between police and six men believed to have been behind the killing of a police chief in Ubay.