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Makati deputy police chief dies while making ends meet

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By Joel Guinto, Jeannette Andrade, Kristine Liu,, Inquirer
Last updated 08:55pm (Mla time) 05/24/2007

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE) Robbers killed the deputy chief of the Makati City Police, who was moonlighting as a public utility vehicle driver, and held up 13 of his passengers Wednesday evening in Quezon City.


The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has come up with artist’s sketches of three of the five suspects who shot dead Superintendent Joven Bocalbos, 38, of Queen’s Row Subdivision, Bacoor Cavite. Bocalbos has just assumed the post as deputy chief of police in Makati City.

QCPD Director Sr. Supt. Magtanggol Gatdula assured that top priority has been given in arresting the suspects, saying, “Hindi titigil ang buong puwersa ng QCPD. Halos lahat kumikilos na at ibinaba muna ang kanilang mga trabaho para tutukan ang kaso (The entire QCPD force will not stop. Almost all units are moving and have momentarily set aside their current work to focus on the case).”

This, he pointed out, was standard operating procedure each time a police officer is murdered. “Our operatives have fanned out throughout the entire Metro Manila to hunt the suspects and arrest them,” the QCPD Director stressed.

Based on the artist’s sketches rendered from descriptions provided by Bocalbos’ passengers, one of the suspects who shot the police colonel is approximately 30 years old, 5’5” tall, medium-built, and is tanned while his other cohort is between 25 and 30 years old, 5’5” tall, medium-built, and dark-skinned.

The suspect who commandeered Bocalbos’ green Nissan Urvan (plate no. XED-744) is described as at least 40 years old, between 5’6” and 5’7” tall, medium-built and has fair complexion. The last suspect wore a cap to conceal graying hair.

The suspected gunman, a witness and victim recalled, had allegedly told Bocalbo before shooting him in the back of the head, “Alam ko ang style mo, pulis din ako (I know your style. I am also a police officer).”

But Gatdula said that they are still verifying the information, pointing out, “Anybody can claim to be a cop to mislead the investigation. We are looking into that right now.”

Based on reports from the QCPD Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU), the incident happened at around 7:30 p.m. along Commonwealth Avenue in Fairview.

Bocalbos was plying the Quezon Avenue to Almar-Zabarte Road in Novaliches when the suspects, who posed as passengers, drew their handguns and announced the heist. The robbers then instructed the police colonel to pull over and then commandeered the vehicle.

Bocalbos was ordered to sit at the middle portion of the vehicle while the designated driver of the group made a U-turn at the stoplight near Fairview Market. However, the suspects reportedly noticed the victim’s constant shift of position and frisked him. It was then that the gunman disarmed him and shot him in the nape.

At this point, while Bocalbos sat bleeding, the other suspects divested the passengers of their valuables and took the police colonel’s service firearm.

The robbers drove the commandeered vehicle to Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City, where they abandoned the vehicle with the fourteen passengers still aboard.

As soon as the suspects were out of sight, one of the victims took over the steering wheel and drove the Urvan to the M-Tech Hospital in Makati City in an attempt to save Supt. Bocalbos, but to no avail. The police colonel was declared dead on arrival at the medical facility at around 8:45 pm.

Makati City police chief, Superintendent Gilbert Cruz, said Bocalbos plied the Quezon Avene-Almar route every night before his 8 p.m. shift to earn a little extra.

“Pantawid gutom yan [It’s meant to relieve hunger], to make ends meet,” Cruz said in a phone interview, adding Bocalbos’ children were still in elementary and high school.

“That’s how it is for honest policemen. They work extra to augment the little they get from the government,” said Superintendent Franklin Mabanag, chief of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Station 4 that investigated the incident.

The base pay of police superintendents is about P18,000, with allowances, and their gross pay could reach P30,000.

View article as posted on

Written by joelguinto

Thu+00:002007-05-24T08:09:50+00:00+00:0005b+00:00Thu, 24 May 2007 08:09:50 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am05

Posted in Uncategorized

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