2nd cop shot dead within 2 days in Ecija

July 26, 2020

CABANATUAN CITY – Another police officer was shot dead in Nueva Ecija on Saturday night, the second murder incident to have occurred within a span of two days in the province, it was reported yesterday.

Provincial police director Col. Leon Victor Rosete said the latest police killing took place in Bgy. Bayanihan, Gapan City at 9:40 p.m.

He identified the slain cop as Patrolman Ritz Batungbakal, 39, designated as warrant police-non-commissioned officer at the Gapan police, a resident of Bgy. Bayanihan.

His attacker, who fled on foot after the shooting, was still unidentified.

"Sir limang tama po sa kaliwang bahagi ng dibdib, isa sa baba, isa sa kanang bahagi ng leeg, isa sa kanang braso at tatlo sa kaliwang balikat, meron din po sa likod. Dipa matukoy ang entry at exit points, wala pa result ng autopsy," said case prober SMSgt. Norly Balmater in his text message yesterday to the Journal group.

Reports said the victim was off-duty and was having a drinking spree with friends at the house when the lone suspect arrived and shot the lawman several times before fleeing towards north direction.

Rosete said the lawman was rushed to the nearby Good Samaritan Hospital for emergency treatment but was declared dead-on-arrival by the attending physician.

The latest gun attack was the second of such incident involving a lawman. On Thursday night, Police Master Sgt. Bert Reyes, 42, of Bgy. Maugat, was gunned down by an unidentified assassin while performing his duty inside the barangay hall in Luyos.

Rosete said the twin murder incidents were not related to each other.

Meanwhile, Police Regional Office 3 director Brig. Gen. Rhodel O. Sermonia visited the late lawman’s wake on Saturday in San Antonio and posthumously conferred on Reyes the Medalya ng Kadakilaan and Medalya ng Papuri.

Rosete, who accompanied Sermonia in paying their last respects to the fallen cop, said the accolades were received by the lawman’s widow, including the financial assistance that was given by the general.

Sermonia assured the bereaved family that all benefits and insurances due to Reyes will be properly facilitated.

Rosete said the police general also provided augmentation personnel to the San Antonio police from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 3 to beef up the conduct of law enforcement operations in the area.