The Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) has created a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to focus on the ambush-slay of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Central Visayas (PDEA-7) agent Von Rian Tecson in Carcar City on Wednesday.
Police Provincial Director Senior Supt. Manuel Abrugena on Thursday said they created the SITG to investigate deeper into the case which has two angles — work related and personal grudge.
Abrugena said they are looking at these angles as motive after the victim’s brother, Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Von Tecson of the Carcar City Police, revealed the slain PDEA team leader has been receiving death threats through text messages.
“As of now, we are looking at the initial information provided by the brother that Tecson has been receiving death threats from an unidentified drug lord,” Abrugena said in Tagalog. “And we are now trying to establish the identity of this said drug lord.”
Tecson said the unknown text message sender threatened to take revenge on his brother and the late PDEA-7 deputy director for operations Baby Earl Rallos, who was ambushed last 27 July near the Cebu Provincial Capitol.
Abrugena, however, said it is still too early to say that the slaying of Tecson is connected with the attack on Rallos.
The PDEA agent was waylaid by riding-in-tandem gunmen while on his way home inside his Ford Ranger around 1 p.m., just about 100 meters from his residence in Barangay Perrelos, Carcar City.
Initial investigation said Tecson’s Ranger was blocked by a maroon Mitsubishi Pajero and was surrounded by two riding-in-tandem assailants, who sprayed bullets on the victim’s vehicle.
The 41-year-old PDEA agent was able to fire back and fatally wounded one of the suspects who tried to open the vehicle’s door.
According to witnesses, the wounded gunman was picked up by the other suspects on board the Pajero before fleeing from the scene.
Abrugena said they are now following a report that a man with a gunshot wound was brought Wednesday afternoon to the Cebu South General Hospital in the City of Naga, about 18 kilometers from Carcar.
The CPPO chief said he has already ordered the Naga Police to check on the report and has coordinated with the hospital for the identity of the wounded person brought to its emergency room, but refused to elaborate.
“We are bound by the hospital’s confidentiality. The hospital is also following security protocols, that’s why medyo natatagalan ang pagkuha ng information (it takes time to get information),” Abrugena said, adding that they are also checking other hospitals for any gunshot-wound admission.
Meanwhile, newly-installed PDEA-7 Director Wardley Getalla earlier met and coordinated with Abrugena for the investigation.
Getalla said they are now checking the case folders of Tecson including the operations and the drug personalities he handled.
He has instructed his 89 new agents from PDEA-Western Visayas (Region 6) now assigned to PDEA-7 to observe extreme caution when conducting anti-drug operations.
Tecson is among the 91 PDEA-7 personnel to exchange places with PDEA-6 agents after PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino ordered the swapping of personnel following the ambush-slay of Rallos.
Getalla said all PDEA-7 agents had already been transferred to Western Visayas except for Tecson, who was scheduled to attend to court hearings scheduled this week.