Cops pursue former mediaman’s assassins


BANGUED, Abra – Combined police operatives are now pursing the killers of an employees of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and a former radio and print media personality in the province who was shot to death by still unidentified riding in tandem gunmen Wednesday evening along Taft Street here.

Senior Superintendent Virgilio P. Laya, director of the Abra provincial police office, said the Police Regional Office (PRO) immediately organized the so-called Anti-Crime Task Force to augment the elements of the Abra provincial police office in addressing the increasing shooting incidents in the province over the past several months.

He said the additional policemen who will be led by Senior Superintendent Alberlito S. Garcia as commanding officer and Superintendent Mark Pespes of the Regional Public Safety |Battalion will serve as the ground commander in going after the killers of the former mediaman and now a DOJ employees.

“We welcome the deployment of additional policemen to the province to help us sustain the implementation of our peacekeeping efforts, Laya stressed.

Earlier, Jacinto Testado Turqueza alias Jack Turqueza, 47, married, administrative officer of the Abra provincial prosecutor’s office and a former radio anchor of the local Catholic radio station and correspondent of a national broadsheet, who is a resident of AFPEMCO subdivision, Calaba, Bangued, Abra was shot to death while he was on his way home after attending a birthday celebration of an officemate.

“Turqueza’s assassins possibly used a silencer because witnesses simply saw the victim fell on the ground with blood oozing from gunshot wounds without hearing gunshots from the suspects who had been tailing his motorcycle,” Laya stressed.

Probers disclosed the victim attended the birthday celebration of prosecutor Marcelo Ortega in Barikir, Zone V, Bangued, Abra and went to fetch his wife from her work at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) office at Zone, IV.

However, Laya said the victim was forced to go back to the residence of prosecutor Ortega as he reportedly left his cellular phone there and while on his way home alone, he was tailed by riding in tandem assassins who repeatedly shot him in front of Mike’s Department Store along Taft Street.

Laya disclosed the victim sustained two gunshot wounds on the right side of his back, one on his right hand and two other gunshot wounds on his spinal cord.

He was immediately rushed by witnesses and bystanders to the Seares Memorial Hospital for medical treatment but he was declared dead on arrival by attending physicians.

Rogelio Sales Macabeo, 38, security guard of Mike’s Super Store, informed probers that he did not hear any gunshot at the time of the incident and that he only noticed the victim fall from his green and black motorcycle and crashed on the pavement not knowing that he was repeatedly shot.

Laya said the suspects reportedly took advantage of the commotion and heavy traffic and fled towards an unknown direction.

Responding police operatives and elements of the scene of the crime operation (SOCO) team recovered from the crime scene three fired cartrages cases of calibre .45 pistol which was used by the gunmen in the perpetration of the crime.

”We are still ascertaining the motive of the incident and we are looking at the possibility of work-related and personal grudge as the motives of the incident,” Laya said.

Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin declined to give a conclusive statement on the incident, saying that he will still await the outcome of the investigation before issuing remarks.

“We do not want to report the outcome of the indepth investigation of our law enforcers that is why we will allow them to do their job and submit to us their findings before we make conclusive remarks relative to the latest shooting incident in the province,” Bersamin said.

Bersamin appealed to the public not to make unnecessary conclusions in relation to the incident because it is just an isolated incident that has transpired and that the province remains peaceful most of the time.