By: Jennifer P. Rendon
THE three police officers who were involved in a shooting incident in Sara, Iloilo that killed a motorcycle driver were relieved from their posts on Sept 26, 2019.
Police Colonel Roland Vilela, Iloilo police chief, said he ordered the relief of Patrolman Christopher Paclibar and Corporals John Michael Parcia and Alfredo Bartulo from the 2nd Iloilo Provincial Mobile Force Company at Barangay Zerrudo, Sara town, the moment they were released from the custody of Sara Police Station.
The three are now assigned at the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) headquarters at Camp Sumagaysay, Sta. Barbara, Iloilo while investigation is going on against them.
“Their relief was for them to have no influence over the investigation,” Vilela said.
The IPPO Provincial Investigation and Detective Management Branch has already started with the probe surrounding the incident that killed 26-year old Adonis Hontiveros Jr. of Barangay Pinantan Elizalde, Ajuy, on the evening of Sept. 23, 2019.
But Vilela confirmed that he did not order to disarm the three policemen.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Mario Baquiran, 2nd IPMFC commander, has earlier claimed that his personnel were conducting a checkpoint when the incident happened.
Thirty minutes later, policemen allegedly saw Hontiveros, while driving a motorcycle, maneuver for a U-turn instead of pulling over to be inspected.
This prompted Paclibar to shoot the victim but the latter was not hit.
Parcia and Bartulo then shot the victim who was hit on the back.
“Unless proven otherwise, I presume the regularity of the checkpoint held by our personnel,” Vilela said.
He confirmed to have instructed all units to conduct high-risk checkpoints on Monday after reports of harassment made by suspected New People’s Army in Maasin, Iloilo at 7:00 a.m. of the same day.
An hour after that, rebels and members of the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion also clashed at Barangay Ongyod, Miag-ao town.
Meanwhile, Baquiran said they would be ready to answer the allegations hurled against them.
While police insisted that Hontiveros was killed after he ignored a checkpoint, his companions claimed not seeing any policemen undertaking a checkpoint.
Rufino Billones claimed that he earlier brought his father to Sara District Hospital after the latter claimed he was feeling ill.
Hontiveros, his neighbor, and a 17-year old teenager went with Billones to help.
Billones told Aksyon Radyo – Iloilo that his father and mother went with him on the motorcycle while his brother drove the other motorcycle.
His father stayed at the hospital with his mother and brother while Billones, Hontiveros and the teenager decided to go home before 11:00 p.m.
Hontiveros refueled at a gasoline station in Sara as Billones waited for him.
A top down tricycle was navigating in front of them as they drove off.
The tricycle allegedly went inside the 2nd IPMFC headquarters.
Billones said they already drove past the police headquarters when they decided to turn back to buy ice at a store located before the IPMFC headquarters.
Billones said Hontiveros and the teenager was ahead of him.
When he passed by the headquarters, a policewoman in uniform allegedly flagged him prompting him to stop, but insisted that there was no checkpoint.
Hontiveros also stopped after he was flagged down by two policemen in civilian clothes.
Shortly after, he then heard gunfire while the policewoman talked to him.
The teenager, on the other hand, claimed three men flagged them down.
Hontiveros stopped because they were already in front of the store.
He alleged seeing the policemen pull a gun prompting him to alight from the motorcycle and scamper inside the store.
The teenager claimed that the two poked a gun at Hontiveros before he heard gun fire.
He claimed to have not heard of any discussion before the gun fire incident erupted.
Meanwhile, a resident claimed that it was around 11:00 when he heard at least four gunshots.
When he went to check, he saw a bloodied Hontiveros.
He even thought there was an accident, which prompted him to ask for help at the police headquarters.
When he arrived, he saw a motorcycle being held.
He then asked for help but he was told that they would call for an ambulance.
It was the Sara police car that brought the victim to the hospital where Hontiveros was declared dead on arrival.
He claimed to have not seen any gun near Hontiveros when they saw him.
But a SOCO report indicated that a gun was recovered in the area.