Cebu News

After Sudlon ‘misencounter’: PIB’s anti-drug ops halted

Mae Clydyl L. Avila - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The anti-illegal drug operations of the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) are halted amid the investigation of its 18 personnel involved in the death of a police corporal.

The cops have been ordered relieved after Corporal Feliciano Yballe Jr. was killed in a “misencounter” Wednesday dawn in a mountain village in Cebu City. PIB is under the Cebu Provincial Police Office.

“It really affects our operation but we have to stop. Anti-illegal drug operations are halted for the time being but only in the province of Cebu,” said Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 Director Debold Sinas.

He said though that it is only for the PIB operations and not the whole province.

He added that station-level drug operations will continue.

Sinas said the officers would not be replaced for now as not to hamper the deployment of officers in the province for the May 13 midterm elections.

It was agreed upon during a meeting with Police Colonel Manuel Abrugena, CPPO director, said Sinas.

“Abrugena does not want the May 8 deployment be affected,” he said.

Sinas said Yballe’s death was a result of “misencounter and miscoordination.”

He said the incident was a “blow to the morale of the police.”

Sinas said Yballe was supposed to serve as guide to the CPPO-PIB operatives after they pinpointed that one of Master Sergeant Junard Cinco’s assailants was in Barangay Sinsin. Cinco was among those who served the arrest warrant against slain drug lord Steve Go’s trustee, Gerly Glan Luwagi, who, along with a cohort, was eventually killed by authorities in a shootout at a Cebu City village on Monday evening.

Yballe, 30, who was assigned at the Cebu City Mobile Force Company (CMFC) led by Major Chuck Barandog, was reportedly familiar with Sinsin’s terrain, it being the adjacent barangay of Sudlon 1, where he was residing.

From 2016 to 2018, Yballe worked as the police coordinator for the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council.

He was later transferred to CMFC.

Yballe’s wife told the police that her husband had been suffering from “paranoia” recently after finding out that he allegedly had a bounty on his head being part of an unknown drug group’s kill list.

Sinas said Yballe may have doubted the PIB operatives, not wearing police uniform, who knocked on his door and may be the reason why Yballe opened fire once.

PIB operatives were triggered to retaliate, killing Yballe.

Sinas said the results of paraffin, ballistic and drug tests the policemen undergone are not yet available.

He also said there is still a chance that the relieved cops may be reinstated.

“It’s part of the police work. But it was unfortunate the incident happened. We will not abandon them,” said Sinas. — KBQ (FREEMAN)


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