Armed men who ‘observed’ killing of cops in Negros Oriental arrested in Cebu

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Three armed men traveling from Ayungon, Negros Oriental, were arrested in Badian town in southern Cebu on Wednesday, July 31, for allegedly being “passive observers” in the ambush of 4 police officers in Ayungon last July 18.

According to regional police, they apprehended the 3 suspects who were traveling to Cebu on a banca after receiving an intel from the Barangay Intelligence Networks (BIN) of Ayungon town.

Brigadier General Debold Sinas, the Central Visayas’ police director, said in a press conference in Negros Oriental on Thursday, August 1, that a police team in Badian, Cebu, was ready to intercept them after receiving the report and spotting the 3 suspects who matched the description of suspects named by the BIN.

According to the spot report, “the [police] team rushed up and accosted the suspects as they were visibly seen holding short firearms,” they added. The banca left with the driver shortly after they got off the boat.

Sinas said while they are still “conducting interviews to know their associations,” the 3 suspects – Danny Harold Tancinco, Ronnie Herebias, and Marlon Basalo – were allegedly "passive observers" when the crime was committed. 

“We understand they were there when the police were executed,” Sinas added.

The suspects will face illegal firearms charges.

The arrest comes after two other suspects were apprehended following a joint police-military operation across 4 towns in the province last week. (READ: 2 suspects in Negros Oriental police slaying arrested)

The 4 police officers were among 15 killed on the island in a single week.

On July 31, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the President may use emergency powers under the Constitution to "quell the lawless violence engulfing the island, as well as to crush all forms of threats aimed to destroy the government."

Panelo said Duterte raised his reward offer to P5 million (from an initial 3 million) for the capture of the killers, "dead or alive." An additional P100,000 was offered for information on anyone who participated in the killing. – 




Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.