By Ariel P. Avendaño
Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija – A dismissed police officer tagged in robbery and murder cases was shot dead in an anti-illegal drugs operation before dawn yesterday in Barangay Kapitan Pepe here.
Superintendent Ponciano Zafra, Cabanatuan City police chief, identified the slain suspect as Alvin Belmonte, a resident of Brgy. Mabini, Sta. Rosa who was previously assigned at the Palayan City police station prior to his dismissal.
A police intelligence officer posed as a buyer of illegal drugs and dealt with Belmonte.
Apparently sensing that he was dealing with a police officer, Belmonte drew his gun and opened fire.
The undercover police officer was grazed by a bullet, while his colleagues who served as backup returned fire and killed Belmonte.
“Maswerte po ‘yong policeman natin na poseur-buyer dahil nakasuot siya ng bullet-proof vest na nakatago sa T-shirt kaya ‘yon lang ang nabutas ng barilin siya ng suspect (Our policeman who acted as poseur-buyer was fortunate because he wore a bullet-proof vest concealed under his shirt when he was shot by the suspect), “Zafra said
Recovered from the scene were a .38 caliber revolver,19 sachets of suspected shabu and marked peso bills.
Intelligence reports identified Belmonte as the lookout in the ambush of Engineer Romeo Callanta on July 28, 2015.
Callante, who was then in the real estate business in Dingalan, Aurora, was assassinated by a motorcycle-riding gunman.