Officer survived earlier attack
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
A Bureau of Jail Management and Penology jail officer was killed late Friday night after he was ambushed by unidentified gunmen in Bacolod City’s Barangay Cabug.
Police identified the fatality as Jail Officer 1 Jayvee Jason Vargas, a resident of the city’s Barangay Handumanan. Authorities also identified the wounded as retired Senior Jail Officer 1 Joeby Vargas, the victim’s father; along with relatives Femmy Taño and Gian Philip Yoro.
Police Station 9 commander, Police Lieutenant Jovito Pastrana, said, prior to the ambush, Vargas was in La Carlota City to follow-up on a personal transaction. He then picked up his father at a local cockfighting ring in Barangay Pahanocoy. The victims proceeded to head home, passing the Central Gas Corporation, towards Bacolod City’s Barangay Handumanan. Upon reaching Purok Katipunan in Barangay Cabug, the pickup truck they were riding in was attacked by several gunmen aboard two motorcycles. In addition, the vehicle was also being tailed by a van with another team of gunmen, who exited their vehicle and opened fire.
The elder Vargas ordered his son to speed up but the victim was struck by a bullet, causing him to lose control of the truck and crashing into a house owned by the Espital family.
The victim was killed on the spot after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body, while the other occupants of the pickup truck were rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Police recovered a total of 95 empty bullet cartridges of different calibers from the crime scene.
Pastrana added, they believe there were around eight gunmen who conducted the ambush and, with the way is carried out, the incident was likely planned.
Bacolod City Police Office director, Police Colonel Henry Biñas, has since ordered Pastrana to investigate the ambush thoroughly.
Last April, Vargas survived an earlier attempt on his life when he was also ambushed outside the city’s Bredco Port.
Following that incident, the police official sustained non-life threatening wounds and received medical treatment at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital.
Biñas added, the suspects involved in the latest ambush may be the same from April and, with the amount of bullet casings recovered, “It is clear the suspects hold a deep grudge against Vargas.”
Police are also looking at illegal drugs as the motive behind the attack as Vargas was previously linked to illegal drug activities; however, the allegations are still being verified by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency./DGB, WDJ