The chief of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) has ordered an investigation into the escort of Staff Sergeant Celso Colita after he learned that he had met with a junior police officer in front of the headquarters of the Police Regional Office (PRO) – Central Visayas hours earlier His accuser of wrongdoing was shot dead on Monday April 19, 2021.
The logbook at the PRO-Central Visayas gate examined by reporters shows that Colita went out at 8:37 a.m. He was accompanied by Cpl. Christopher Lorete for a medical examination.
The log also states that Colita and Lorete returned to the headquarters of PRO-Central Visayas at 6 p.m., about 12 minutes after Ritchie Nepomuceno was shot by tandem attackers.
Nepomuceno had filed complaints against Colita and his nine colleagues for allegedly arresting her without a warrant as members of the Sawang Calero Police Station and stealing 170,000 from her.
Nepomuceno had said that she was raped twice by Colita in a motel.
The new information prompted CCPO Director Josefino Ligan to instruct the Pardo Police Station, which is handling the Nepomuceno murder case, to start a new chapter of the investigation by inviting Lorete to question her.
Ligan wants to know if Lorete really accompanied Colita to a medical exam.
Colita and nine other police officers, with the exception of Lorete, who were previously used as drug control agents at Sawang Calero Police Station, were restricted as they were under an administrative investigation into charges against them by Nepomuceno.
This led the Human Rights Commission (CHR) Central Visayas to question why Colita was allowed to leave PRO 7 headquarters when he was under investigation for serious crimes.
Leo Villarino, chief investigator for CHR-Central Visayas, said if Colita wanted a medical examination, he could have asked a doctor to visit the camp.
Ligan said a restricted police officer would not be allowed to leave the camp so easily. However, if the policeman has an urgent task to perform, he can leave the camp with the permission of his supervisor.
He said a restricted police officer was not a prisoner and could join the flag raising.
Villarino has the possibility that Colar could be involved in Nepomuceno’s death if Colita leaves the headquarters of PRO-Central Visayas.
However, the CHR investigator said his statement was inconclusive; There is still no clear evidence to identify the people behind Nepomuceno’s death.
Ligan said it was necessary to conduct a thorough investigation.
The police officer said they are awaiting the results of the ballistic examination of the firearm used by Colita when he reportedly committed suicide hours after Nepomuceno was murdered.
The results, he said, would determine whether it was the same weapon used to kill Nepomuceno, who police said was involved in the illegal drug trade as a lover of an imprisoned great drug personality.
The crime lab’s ballistic test results are usually released two weeks after the day the weapon in question was received.
Ligan said his investigators found two surveillance cameras from facilities near the location where Nepomuceno was shot. But the equipment, he said, was damaged.
Investigators, Ligan said, will be looking for other surveillance cameras.
Villarino said he could not hold the public responsible for their suspicions against the police, who put forward multiple theories and divulged Nepomuceno’s involvement in the drug trafficking as the mistress of an imprisoned drug personality.
“The more we bring in more angles, the more we have to investigate,” he said.
Nepomuceno reportedly told police that she wanted to end her relationship with the imprisoned drug personality, but he threatened to kill her if she did.
“If this case is related to the love triangle, but the evidence has yet to be sought, it remains a theory. What is clear before the eyes of the police is the entry in the log that Colita was allowed to leave the camp, ”said Villarino.
He said the log entry as evidence needs to be followed up and the police must not look for another angle without hard evidence.
Villarino added that police should be conducting an investigation into Colita’s death and should not use theories to influence public opinion.
To do justice to Colita’s death as well, Villarino said police should conduct an investigation on their colleague and find out if he was involved in the Nepomuceno murder.
Regarding the CHR-Central Visayas, Villarino said they would continue their investigation into the police officers previously deployed at the Sawang Calero Police Station as there are two other complainants. (AYB, KFD)