By Connie Calipay
LEGAZPI CITY – Two suspects who shot and killed two members of the Albay Provincial Police Office on Sunday night in Oas town have been arrested during a pursuit operation, the Police Regional Office-5 (Bicol) said on Monday.
Police Lt. Col. Malu Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson, identified the suspects as Richard Bonaobra, 35, and Fernan Regala Jardinel, 37, both residents of Barangay Santiago Old, Nabua, Camarines Sur.
They were arrested minutes after the killing Police MSgt. Joseph Ostonal, 43 and Corporal Jeffrey Refereza, 35, both members of the Oas Municipal Police Station, in Barangay Ilaor Sur around 11:49 p.m. Sunday.
“After being flagged down at a chokepoint, the suspects were apprehended in Centro Poblacion, Barangay Basud, Polangui, Albay. They were duly informed of their constitutional rights and taken to the Oas police station for processing. Inquest proceedings are conducted to ensure the filing of appropriate charges,” Calubaquib said in a report.
Initial investigation showed the two cops were conducting mobile patrol in the area when two armed men riding a motorcycle fired at them.
“Authorities were able to recover a Taurus 1911 Caliber 45 pistol with Serial No. 389736, along with the motorcycles used in the crime. PCpl. Refereza’s service firearm was found at the crime scene, while MSgt. Ostonal’s service firearm was missing,” she said.
PBrig. Gen. Westrimundo Obinque, PRO5 regional director, has ordered a thorough probe into the incident to uncover the motives and affiliation of the suspects.
“The men and women of PRO5 are profoundly saddened and angered by this incident, as it undermines the very purpose of their service, which is to uphold peace and security in the community. We share in the grief of their families and will support them through this difficult time in every way possible,” Obinque said in a statement.
He also reminded their police officers on the importance of proper implementation of heightened safety protocols in all their operations. (PNA)