By Calvin D. Cordova
Cebu City — Mayor Tomas Osmeña asked the public to show respect for his former security aide, policeman Adonis Dumpit, who was killed in an alleged shootout with law enforcers in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, last Wednesday.
Dumpit was reportedly involved in the illegal drug trade while he was in Bohol, and was considered a high-level target who had been under surveillance for quite some time.
Osmeña said he will help provide a decent burial for Dumpit, whose remains arrived in this city Thursday morning.
“We owe it to him. Criminals left Cebu because of him,” Osmeña said of Dumpit, who made a name for hunting down criminals while he was assigned in Cebu City.
“I am shocked and saddened. He was my best policeman when he was here,” said Osmeña.
Osmeña said he could not believe that Dumpit was involved in illegal drug activities, although he has received reports that Dumpit was doing some nefarious deals on the side while he was in Bohol.
Dumpit’s former wife, Josephine, facilitated the transfer of the body to Cebu City. Josephine works at Cebu City Hall. Their marriage was annulled 11 years ago.
Osmeña’s wife, Margot, was emotional when she visited the wake of Dumpit at the Cebu Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes.
“He’s just part of our lives. I know that he would have taken a bullet for anyone of us, including our granddaughter,” said Mrs. Osmena.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is insisting that Dumpit was killed during a legitimate anti-drug operation.
Renan Oliva, head of NBI-Bohol, said the police officer fired the first shots and that the team from the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) and NBI were forced to fire back.
The encounter happened about 200 meters from Dumpit’s residence on Dagohoy Road, San Isidro District, Tagbilaran, past 8 a.m. last Wednesday.
Interviewed by reporters, Oliva said Dumpit had been under surveillance for three months because of his involvement in illegal drugs.
Oliva said that on Wednesday the arresting team intercepted Dumpit, who was driving a motorcycle.
The team introduced themselves but Dumpit drew a .45 caliber pistol, triggering the shootout.
Dumpit died on the spot due to gunshot wounds in different parts of the body. Police said at least 15 packs of suspected shabu were found in his pockets.
Oliva said the NBI started shadowing Dumpit on the request of the Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO), which complained that the policeman had harassed the team leader of a police unit that arrested a drug suspect.
Oliva said Dumpit asked the team leader to downgrade the case from selling of illegal drugs to possession of illegal drugs.
Oliva said Dumpit was angry when the team leader turned down the request.
Not long afterwards, the team leader’s car that was parked outside the BPPO Headquarters was strafed, he said.
Oliva described Dumpit as a high-level target who used the code name “Daddy” in illegal drug dealings.
Dumpit did not directly sell shabu but supplied it to a group of pushers, he said.
Whenever one of the pushers got arrested, Dumpit would intervene for his release or the downgrading of the case to enable the suspect to post bail, Oliva said.
Dumpit became controversial in Cebu in the 1990s after he was implicated in the deaths of three suspected criminals and the wounding of several others as the leader of a police anti-crime group called “Hunter’s Team.”
In August, 2014, he was convicted of homicide by the Cebu Regional Trial Court for shooting to death a 17-year-old robbery suspect in 2004.
Dumpit was jailed for six years. He was released from the Leyte Regional Prison in Abuyog, Leyte, on May 26, 2016 after the court allowed him to post bail pending resolution of his appeal to reverse the court’s decision convicting him of homicide.
It was Osmeña who paid Dumpit’s P250,000 bail.
After his release, Dumpit was assigned in Cebu City before his transfer to Bohol two months ago. He was supposed to retire on May 13 next year, the day he would have turned 56.