Mom of slain jail officer cries for justice

Yvonne Vargas holds a press conference at the Negros Press Club in Bacolod City Monday, following the death of her son, Jail Officer 1 Jayvee Jason Vargas, who was killed in an ambush at Barangay Cabug last Friday. (Glazyl Masculino photo)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – “My son is innocent. He is not a criminal.”

This was stressed by Yvonne Vargas as she called for justice for the death of her son, Jail Officer 1 Jayvee Jason Vargas, who was killed in an ambush at Barangay Cabug here last Friday.

In a press briefing at the Negros Press Club (NPC) here yesterday, Vargas’ mother Yvonne appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo to help her attain justice for the death of her son.

Tulungan niyo po kami (Vice President Robredo) na makamit ang hustisya sa aming anak. Wala po kaming kasalanan at ginawang masama. Bakit ganun? Bakit pinatay? Brutal po ang pagpatay,” she said.

Vargas was killed in an ambush staged by unidentified armed men seven months after surviving an earlier attempt on his life at Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) port.

In the latest attack, Vargas fetched his father, a retired jail officer, and his three other relatives from a cockpit in Barangay Pahanocoy here when he was tailed by a blue Toyota Innova, a pick-up truck, and three motorcycles.

More than eight unidentified suspects from the said vehicles fired high-powered firearms at the victim’s car.

Police recovered from the area assorted cartridges of M16, M14, and calibers .9mm and .45 ammunitions.

Naniniwala pa rin ako sayo sir (President Duterte). Tulungan mo kami sir na ma solve ang case. Bakit po pinatay ang anak ko? Inosente po siya. Hindi po siya criminal,” Yvonne said.

Police believed that the armed men are members of an organized group or hired gunmen, but they have no lead yet on their identities.

Hindi ko alam kung sino ang may gawa nito pero hindi deserve ng anak ko na patayin siya ng ganun,” Yvonne said.

Police are looking at drug-related issues as the victim and his father were previously linked to the illegal drug trade.

But the Vargas family denied it claiming that these were just mere accusations.

Saan ang proweba? Ni minsan hindi kami nakatanggap na na include ang anak ko sa isang list. Puro alleged iyon. Kung meron man dapat tinokhang na or may buy-bust pero wala naman. Dapat may validation na ginawa. Kami pa namatayan, kami pa pinu-put down. Hindi po kami criminal,” she said.

Yvonne said her son’s name was already cleared after he was also ambushed in April this year.

“It was a mistaken identity. Walang binanggit na involved sa drugs ang anak. Napaka-unfair at sobrang masakit ito para sa amin,” she added.

Police are also investigating if the killing has something to do with the work or personal life of Vargas, who was assigned at Metro Bacolod District Jail in Barangay Handumanan.

“I still believe in the justice system of the Philippines,” Yvonne said.