By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
A police officer who was “absent without leave,” or AWOL, was gunned down Saturday afternoon along Circumferential Avenue in Bacolod City’s Barangay Villamonte. Authorities identified the fatality as Police Patrolman Eric Alcosaba, a former member of the Bacolod City Police Office’s (BCPO) Police Station 7.
Police Station 4 (PS4) commander, Police Major Reynante Jomocan, said, based on eyewitness accounts, Alcosaba parked his pick-up truck in front of a fastfood chain when four gunmen aboard an all-purpose utility vehicle opened fire on the victim’s vehicle. The police officer tried fleeing on foot but was shot multiple times.
One of the gunmen then approached the victim and shot him in the head.
A commuter aboard a nearby jeepney captured a portion of the incident on video, recording the second gunman looking into Alcosaba’s vehicle while holding what appeared to be an assault rifle. The gunmen then boarded their getaway vehicle and escaped southward along the Circumferential Road.
Alcosaba was declared dead on the spot by paramedics.
Jomocan said they recovered several empty shells belonging to a .45 caliber and 5.56 caliber firearm, unidentified empty shells, along with deformed slugs from the crime scene. IN addition, law enforcement officers recovered the victim’s pickup truck, which was riddled with bullet holes along the front passenger side.
Meanwhile, a background check on Alcosaba confirmed he had been previously named by slain drug group bagman Ricky Serenio of allegedly being linked to illegal drug activities in Negros Occidental.
Following Serenio’s revelation, Alcosaba was reassigned to Mindanao in March 2017 but he never fulfilled the reassignment and went AWOL. He added, the deceased officer worked with a construction firm said to be linked with a politician in Negros Occidental.
The police official also said they interviewed the victim’s wife, who claimed, prior to the incident, they noticed unidentified individuals following them.
Police are looking at a personal grudge or the victim’s alleged links to illegal drugs as a motive behind the incident./DGB, WDJ