MANILA -- The police officer who was shot dead by motorcycle-riding gunmen along EDSA in San Juan City on Tuesday is included in the drug watch list, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, General Oscar Albayalde said on Wednesday.
Albayalde said Senior Master Sgt. Solomon Cugay, who succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds, was among the PNP personnel included in the 2016 list released by President Rodrigo Duterte.
He said Cugay was accused of coddling or protecting drug personalities and recycling or selling seized illegal drugs.
The case was adjudicated (heard) but Cugay was cleared of the charges, Albayalde said, quoting information from National Capital Regional Police Office chief, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.
“And for two years basically, authorities did not monitor any illegal activity he is involved in so he was actually adjudicated before,” Albayalde told reporters in press briefing.
But the PNP chief said the investigation still ongoing on the motive behind the killing of Cugay to determine whether it is drug-related or not.
Albayalde clarified that even if Cugay was included in the list, he was not identified as among those "ninja cops" or those involved in the illicit reselling of confiscated illegal drugs.
Cugay was riding his Yamaha scooter at the EDSA-Connecticut southbound lane when motorcycle-riding gunmen shot and killed him.
Meanwhile, Eleazar ordered the creation of a special investigation task group to probe Cugay's killing that will be supervised by the Eastern Police District director, Brig. Gen. Christopher Tambungan.
Cugay was assigned to the regional drug enforcement unit from 2015 to 2016, during which he was investigated for alleged drug links.
He said Cugay was transferred from the anti-narcotics unit to an administrative division concerned with doctrine development before he was killed.
He added the investigators are examining the recovered cellphone at the crime scene and also seeking CCTV footage along EDSA that may provide leads on the assailants. (PNA)
Photo by Analy Labor/Daily Tribune