3 suspects in murder of 2 cops in Pampanga nabbed

CAMP OLIVAS, City of San Fernando, Pampanga – Three suspects in the murder of anti-illegal drug operatives Senior Master Sgt. Sofronio Capitle Jr. and Staff Sgt. Dominador Gacusan last Saturday in Mabalacat City, this province, were arrested in a hot pursuit operation on Sunday, Dec. 4.

Police Regional Office 3 Director Brig. Gen. Cesar Pasiwen identified the suspects as Jun Jun Espiritu Baluyut, 44; Aries Espiritu Bagsic, 40, electrician, and Leslie Placiente, 30, online seller, and all residents of Pampanga.

The suspects were arrested in Barangay Dau, Mabalacat City.

Police recovered from Baluyut an orange Honda Click with bloodstains believed to be one of the motorcycles used by the perpetrators.

The suspects’ alleged cohort was earlier killed in a shootout with lawmen in Mabalacat City.

Police were manning a checkpoint when they flagged down a rider on board a black motorcycle without license plates. However, the rider evaded the checkpoint and fired at the policemen, resulting in shootout in which the rider was killed.

The rider, Kiel Patrick Chua, alias “Kelkel,” was identified as an accomplice of the suspects based on the extrajudicial confession of Baluyut.

Recovered from Chua was a caliber .45 pistol.

Pasiwen added that they are hunting Kenneth Flores and an alias “Pusa” since the service firearm of one of the slain policemen was recovered in the roof gutter of Flores’ house.

“We will have no respite until all the perpetrators are caught and even if two of our members were killed in line with our diligent efforts to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs, still we are committed in our waging war against this menace. We will continue to be relentless in our campaign at all costs,” Pasiwen added.

The victims were killed in an anti-illegal drugs operation in Barangay Dau.