BACOLOD CITY: A police officer, tagged as a high-value target for illegal drugs, was killed in an ambush on Saturday night where another active police officer and his daughter were wounded.
A report from Bacolod Police Station 1 said the victim, Police Officer (PO)1 Federico Nicolas, was declared dead on arrival at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital from multiple gunshot wounds.
Nicolas reportedly went absent without official leave (AWOL) from the Bacolod City Police Office.
Senior Supt. Jack Wanky, acting city police director, said the incident is drug-related as “he [Nicolas] is a high-value target in Bacolod.”
“The victim, per our intelligence report, borrowed more than two kilos of suspected shabu from another drug group but was hard put at paying that probably led to his killing,” Wanky said.
The police chief added, he will have investigators look into Nicolas’ connection to other drug groups, as he suspected that competition in the illegal drug trade could be one of the motives in the murder.
Also wounded in the ambush were PO1 Wilmer Bansag of Negros Occidental Police Office and his daughter April Kim.
Both were brought to the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center where the elder Bansag was placed in the Intensified Care Unit after a bullet was found lodged in his jaw.
Initial police investigation showed that the victims were riding a silver Mitsubishi car when a white Toyota Vios drove nearby and gunmen opened fire at them in front of the Education and Training Center School in Rosario-Yulo Street, Barangay 14 this city.
It was not immediately known who was driving the victims’ car when the ambush happened.
Investigators said about seven to eight suspects wearing bonnets waited for the victims in front of the school.
More than 30 empty bullets of various calibers were found at the crime scene, the police report added.
Meanwhile, police provincial director, Senior Supt. Rodolfo Castil said he will order an investigation why Bansag was with Nicolas.