Tarlac Cop Shot Dead in Daring Ambush

Tarlac City – Drug syndicates fighting back?

This theory surfaced when a policeman was shot dead around 3 PM yesterday at Barangay Paraiso, here, which came a day after an alleged armed encounter of a so-called police’s High Value Target (HVT) against another unidentified group of armed men at a neighboring barangay San Miguel.

Killed with multiple gunshot wounds was SPO3 Ruben Cortez, 53 years old, of Barangay Paraiso, who is assigned at city police’s Police Community Precinct 4 based in Barangay San Miguel.

Witnesses say, Cortez was sitting on the front passenger seat of a police mobile car driven by PO3 Gerald Dela Vega and was about to visit a niece celebrating her birthday during their duty patrol.

“They were about to park the (police) mobile (car) in front of the house of Cortez’s niece when armed men on board a white Toyota Crosswind, which were tailing them, fired at him. Cortez managed to disembark but was peppered with bullets”, said a witness who requested his name withheld for fear of reprisal.

“Definitely, the target was only Cortez, Dela Vega was not shot though he sustained minor injuries. Long and short types of gun were used”, also said the witness.

In an interview when asked if Cortez’s gunning down was related to the alleged shot-out of an unidentified HVT at Barangay San MIguel, Tarlac Police Provincial Director SSupt Ritchie Medrado Posadas said, “Wala pang malinaw (motive), patuloy pa rin ang imbestigation. Masyado pang maaga para mag-speculate”.

Another witness say a fierce gunfight happened a day before Cortez’s killing apparently involving a police HVT but the target allegedly managed to survive. It cannot be verified if those involved were cops.

“He must have been tailed from where Cortez came from. The Killers made sure Cortez was dead”, also said the witness who reside at barangay where the shooting happened. He described Cortez as a “good and friendly neighbor, a dedicated policeman and not involve in any illegal activity.”

This city’s police chief Supt Bayani Razalan also denied any involvement of Cortez to illegal drugs.

“He is a good policeman, a dedicated one. We will make sure that those involved in this barbaric murder will be jailed. We leave no stone unturned until his killers are apprehended. Justice will be served”, also Posadas

Cortez was pronounced Dead On Arrival at the Jecson Medical Center while Dela Vega is recovering at the Ramos General Hospital. /Nelson Bolos; FB: Central Luzon News Center#

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