Five armed men believed to be hired killers barged into the home of a policeman and shot him dead Saturday night in Barangay Centro 2, Lasam, Cagayan, the town’s chief of police, Chief inspector Ramil Alipio, said Sunday.
The victim was identified as 45-year-old Senior Police Officer 2 Ronel Saturno who was assigned to the Provincial Police Office in Quirino during the time of his death.
“He was just recently transferred to his new assignment at the Quirino police as one of the advisers of newly recruit policemen with the rank of police officer 1. While doing his job as adviser, he was also in schooling for his next promotion,” Cagayan police director Senior Superintendent Ronaldo Olay said in a phone interview.
Saturno was dead on the spot from at least nine bullets of calibre .45 pistol that pierced into his head, neck, chest, and other parts of his body. Responding cops rushed him to the hospital but the attending physician declared him dead on arrival.
One of Saturno’s daughters said her father had been receiving death threat from known men of an influential politician in their town.
According to Alipio, the assailants declared themselves as members of the New People’s Army based on the testimonies of witnesses.
But investigators said previous incidents of assassinations in the said town showed that the killers always made sure they were known as NPA rebels by shouting who they were before they escaped.
Alipio said Saturno and his driver arrived home at around 7 p.m. from Lallo town.
“The victim and his driver arrived on board the former’s service vehicle Foton white pick-up. After few minutes, two of the customers happen to be his relative invited him to join them at their table for snack and while having conversation the suspects arrived on board a green center-car and ordered the duty security guard to drop while the other entered the establishment and shoot the victim,” Alipio said.
But according to Leandro Aglibot, security guard on-duty, the assailants looked more like hired killers than NPA rebels.