Fugitive nabbed hours after shooting cop who served arrest warrant

By Jennifer P. Rendon

It took more than 20 hours before police collared a 61-year-old fugitive who resisted officers who tried to arrest him.

Ernesto Capio, a resident of Barangay Danao, Leon, Iloilo, was arrested at his lair in nearby Cagay village past 9 a.m. of Jan 23.

He offered no resistance, this time.

An arrest warrant was supposed to be served against Capio 12:50 p.m. Sunday at Barangay Cagay.

But when he saw approaching members of Leon Police Station, he shot them using a 12-gauge shotgun.

The incident hit Staff Sergeant Jessie Cabalfin on the back. He was rushed to Aleosan District Hospital after sustaining eight pellet wounds. He was later transferred to Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City for further treatment.

Lieutenant Ryan Orleans, Leon police deputy chief, said the local police were supposed to arrest Capio for murder with double attempted murder docketed as Criminal Case No. 21-87057.

Judge Cyril Regalado of the Regional Trial Court Branch 31 in Iloilo City issued the arrest warrant on Dec. 8, 2021.

Orleans said Cagay is a village more than 20 kilometers from the town proper.

“He had better vantage point because he was staying on a hilly portion. For us to reach him, we had to descend from a higher ground and climb up again,” he said.

Before they could even knock on the suspect’s house, Capio began shooting at the cops and wounded Cabalfin.

Capio is now jailed and will be presented to the court.

Orleans said they would file a case for frustrated murder against Capio for attacking Cabalfin.


Capio was tagged in the killing of a former village chief in Leon, Iloilo on May 8, 2021.

He went into hiding after he attacked Zosimo Loquias, then 65 years, and three others.

Orleans said he later surrendered but police could no longer detain him because it would no longer satisfy the “hot pursuit” regulation.

Aside from Loquias, Capio was also the suspect in stabbing Mark Anthony Cari, 26, a resident of Cagay.

He was also held responsible for shooting 17-year-old Jan-Jan, also of Barangay Cagay, and Mary Ann Tahum, 52, a resident of Barangay Danao, Leon.

Tahum and Loquias are cousins while Cari and Jan-Jan are also their relatives.

Capio began his attack spree around 9:00 p.m. of May 8. He allegedly went to Cari’s house and stabbed the victim in his abdomen. Cari also suffered a defense wound on his left arm.

He left Cari’s house and saw Jan-Jan and allegedly shot the teenager, who sustained pellet wounds on his head.

Police operatives did not immediately launch an operation in the area since Cagay is a hinterland village, which is around 30 kilometers from the town proper.

Capio did not stop after attacking the two victims as he also shot Loquias and Tahum who were on their way for the interment of a relative in Cagay village.

Loquias suffered around 50 pellet wounds on his back and hip. The pellets also hit Tahum’s waist.

The incident may have stemmed from a land dispute that started several years ago.

Prior to that, the suspect filed a frustrated murder case against Loquias’s relatives following a hacking incident.

But Capio received information that the case was dismissed.

The dismissal allegedly irked Capio that he was heard claiming that he would exact revenge.