Slain Bohol cop, a drug lord’s former bodyguard?

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Slain Bohol cop, a drug lord’s former bodyguard?

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Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) director Colonel Jonathan Cabal will look into a report alleging that slain police intelligence officer Corporal Arnel Bayot was connected with self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.

The province’s top cop was reacting to a report by Cebu-based Banat News which said that Bayot escorted Espinosa whenever he traveled from Leyte to Cebu based on a statement from a “reliable source” who was not named by the publication.

“Pwedeng anggulo ‘yan kasi di pwedeng e-disregard yan,” said Cabal.

According to Cabal, they will take the allegation into consideration as part of their investigations to identify the motive and suspects behind the fatal gun attack against Bayot.

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The Banat report indicated that Bayot was then assigned at the San Francisco Police Station in the Island of Camotes, Cebu before he was transferred to Bohol.

He was also allegedly once a bodyguard for the Camotes-based Arquillano brothers who were arrested for illegal gun possession in April, 2019.

Earlier, Cabal confirmed that Bayot underwent the Philippine National Police’s Moral Recovery Program (MRP) which he described as a program for police officers who have complaints against them and those who have committed violations.

READ: Drugs from Peter Lim reached Bohol through Espinosa, says CIDG

READ: Kerwin Espinosa’s Boholano brother-in-law ‘Daot’ shot dead

“Pagka merong mga reports ang citizens na abusado, tapos hindi maganda ang pakitungo sa public tapos hindi marunong sumunod sa mga officers at may mga illegal activities yan yung mga napupunta sa moral recovery program,” said Cabal.

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However, the police director noted that they are still pulling out the records of Bayot to determine why he was included in the MRP.

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Bayot who was last assigned at a detachment of the Bohol Provincial Mobile Force Company in Ubay was shot dead using M16 rifles while he was driving his Toyota Corolla along a national road in Barangay Guiwanon, Maribojoc on Monday night while his wife Richelle who was sitting in the passenger’s seat was hit in the leg and arm.

Police found 21 empty shells fired from M16 rifles around the bullet-riddled vehicle.

Espinosa who is now under government custody earlier alleged during a Senate hearing that he had in his payroll various police officers from across the Visayas allowing him to maintain his illegal drug activities for over a decade.

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His drug supply, according to a report by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, reached the shores of Bohol during the height of his illegal drug operations. (R. Tutas)

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