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Suspected killers of 2 policemen in Albay arrested

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY --- Two suspects who shot and killed two members of the Albay Provincial Police Office on Sunday night in Oas town have been arrested in a hot pursuit operation, the Police Regional Office-5 (Bicol) reported on Monday.

Lt. Col. Malu Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson, identified the suspects as Richard Bonaobra, 35, and Fernan Regala Jardinel, 37, both residents of Barangay Santiago Old, Nabua town in Camarines Sur.

They were arrested minutes after killing Police Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Ostonal, 43 and Corporal Jeffrey Refereza, 35, both members of Oas Municipal Police Station, in Barangay Ilaor Sur around 11:49 p.m. Sunday.

ARRESTED. The two members of the Albay Provincial Police Office who were gunned down by motorcycle-riding suspects in Oas, Albay on Sunday night, July 9, 2023. The suspects were arrested in hot pursuit operation. (Infographic courtesy of PRO5)

“After being flagged down at a chokepoint, the suspects were apprehended in Centro Poblacion, Barangay Basud, Polangui town, Albay. They were duly informed of their constitutional rights and taken to the Oas police station for proper procedure. Inquest proceedings are conducted to ensure the filing of appropriate charges,” Calubaquib said in a report.

Initial investigation showed that the victim cops were conducting mobile patrol in the area when two armed men riding a motorcycle fired at them.

“Authorities were able to recover a Taurus 1911 Caliber 45 pistol with Serial No. 389736, along with the motorcycles used in the crime. Corporal Refereza's service firearm was found at the crime scene, while Chief Master Sgt. Ostonal's service firearm was missing,” she said.

Brig. Gen. Westrimundo Obinque, PRO5 regional director, has ordered a thorough probe into the incident to uncover the motives and affiliation of the suspects.

“The men and women of PRO5 are profoundly saddened and angered by the incident as it undermines the very purpose of their service, which is to uphold peace and security in the community. We share in the grief of the families and will support them through this difficult time in every way possible,” Obinque said in a statement.

He also reminded the police officers of the importance of implementing heightened safety protocols in all their operations. (PNA)


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