Senior Supt. Allan Guisihan, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, yesterday called on the two suspects in the fatal shooting of a security guard and a mine worker in Carles, Iloilo, to surrender and face the consequences of their action.
The suspects, identified as Jojie Belmonte and Cocoy Jopson, had been recommended by Guisihan to work at the Calagnaan Agro-Industrial Corporation, that is managed by his friend, Eric Lacson. The two reportedly fled towards northern Negros, immediately after the incident.
Guisihan said the surrender of Belmonte, who, he confirmed, to have been a member of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade, and Jopson, who used to work as a miner in Compostela Valley, will help clarify the controversial issues, once and for all.
A flash alarm has been raised in northern Negros to arrest Belmonte and Jopson on sight. If they resist arrest, normal police operations will be applied, he added.
Police investigations show that Belmonte allegedly brought firearms to Calagnaan Island in Carles, Iloilo, for self-defense purposes.
Guisihan, however, said Jopson was recommended to work in a mine, but not as a security escort. He also denied protecting Lacson and his mining firm, saying he only made recommendations to the owner, as he has no jurisdiction over the island.
Chief Supt. Cipriano Querol, regional police director of Western Visayas, debunked allegations that Guisihan, or any other policemen is involved in the illegal mining activity at the Calagnaan island.
A platoon-sized unit of the 6th Regional Public Safety Battalion is now stationed at the Calagnaan island, for peacekeeping operations, in coordination with the Carles Police Station.
Querol said the shooting incident has nothing to do with the illegal mining activity, as it was triggered by a misunderstanding between the suspects and the victims.
Guisihan also said the RPA-ABB had nothing to do with the incident. * GPB