Cop in attack on Balaoan VM yields

August 18, 2020

A POLICE non-commissioned officer linked to the November 14, 2018 ambush that killed then Balaoan, La Union Vice-Mayor Al-fred Concepcion and his bodyguard and injured the official’s daughter-mayor on Monday surrendered to the Police Regional Office 1 to face the charges against him, PRO1 director, Brigadier General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. announced yesterday.

In a report to Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the official identified the accused as Master Sergeant Dario Cahigas, assigned with the PRO1 Regional Police Holding and Administrative Service.

Azurin said Cahigas voluntary turned himself over to officials of the San Fernando City Police Station, the PRO1 Regional Intelligence Division and the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division after, learning that a tracker team has been fielded to effect his arrest on the strength of a warrant of arrest for two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder issued by Judge Marita Ballogquing of the Balaoan Regional Trial Court Branch 3.

Azurin stressed that he will exert more stringent efforts in probing local police officers facing criminal and administrative cases in line with the internal cleansing program of the PNP.

“He (Cahigas)  will undergo judicial proceedings and shall serve the penalty prescribed by the law if proven guilty. We will not tolerate any form of misconduct in the rank-and-file. We will make sure that the rules will be implemented squarely, the Ilocos-Pangasinan police director said.

The accused is now under the custody of the San Fernando City police force.

On July last year, the National Bureau of Investigation filed the criminal complaints against Cahigas and Senior Master Sgt. Arnold Calzado and several other John Does in connection with the Balaoan ambush case.

Cahigas used to be assigned with the La Union Police Provincial Office intelligence division while Calzado is from the PRO1 headquarters.

The suspects were accused of firing at the vehicles carrying the vice-mayor and his daughter, Mayor Aleli Concepcion. The vice-mayor and his bodyguard Mike Ulep suffered multiple gunshot wounds died while being taken to a local hospital.

After being released from the hospital, Mayor Concepcion offered a P10 million reward for “anyone who can provide vital and verifiable information that can point to the other perpetrators and ultimately the masterminds behind this dastardly act.”

The victims have just left their home and were on their way to the municipal hall when they were attacked while on board a Toyota Innova wagon and a Hyundai Starex van.