Walang kalaban-laban: Ex-Cebu mayor Ramirez killed inside hospital

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Police are looking at all possible angles in the killing of former Medellin Mayor Ricardo Ramirez late Tuesday night inside his room at a private hospital in said town, about 115 kilometers north of this city.

The Police Regional Office-7, under Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, has directed the Medellin Municipal Police Station, assisted by the Cebu Provincial Police Office, to conduct an immediate investigation to give justice to the victim and his family.

Major Audie Pelayo, Medellin police chief, said in a radio interview Wednesday they have yet to establish the motive behind the killing of Ramirez and they are looking at all angles, including the ex-mayor’s alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

Ramirez, who served as Medellin town mayor in 2016, was shot dead around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday inside his room at the Bogo-Medellin Medical Center (BMMC), where he was under hospital arrest.

Reports reaching the Cebu Provincial Police Office said at least 15 armed men barged into the BMMC and disarmed the hospital’s security personnel and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology guard assigned to Ramirez.

Some hospital personnel were also stripped of their mobile phones by the suspects.

Four of the gunmen reportedly went inside the room of Ramirez, who was able to run and tried to hide in the comfort room before he was shot several times and died.

Pelayo said it would be hard to identify the suspects as the BMMC has no closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) but hot-pursuit operations are ongoing against the armed men who fled the scene aboard four vans.

Recovered from Ramirez’s hospital room were 35 slugs from an M4 carbine rifle and 9mm pistol as well as some drug paraphernalia.

Ramirez was arrested in July 2017 for possession of illegal firearms. He was placed under hospital arrest due to hypertension.

The former mayor was also tagged by the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas as one of the government officials involved in the illegal drugs trade two years ago.

Meanwhile, PNP spokesperson, Col. Bernard Banac assured the public that the peace and order situation in Cebu is under control and that their forces there remain vigilant against all forms of criminality. (PNA)