Tag Archive: Rico Santotome


A member of the police's forensics team examining the crime scene while two of the slain lie nearby. (Photo from Negros Occidental PNP)

A member of the police’s forensics team examining the crime scene while two of the slain lie nearby. (Photo from Negros Occidental PNP)

[more photos here] (Update) Nine people, including a policeman, were killed while at least six others were injured in an ambush by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, early Sunday, police said.

Chief Insp. Rico Santotome, provincial police spokesman, said the fatalities include PO1 Richard Canja, assigned at the La Castellana Police Station.

The eight other fatalities were barangay tanods, members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT), and a tanod’s wife, Santotome, who went to the area after the incident, said in a phone interview.

He identified them as tanods Mario Ricablanca and Tiotimo Esplegera of Brgy. Puso, BPAT members Ulysses Tamayor, Jonathan Mateo and Ramir Complesa, civilians Lito Lucban and Virginia Ordonez, and truck driver Ricky Dingcong.

Some of the victims still lying inside the truck. (Photo from Negros Occidental PNP)

Some of the victims still lying inside the truck. (Photo from Negros Occidental PNP)

Two other policemen, identified as PO3 Constantino Villegas and PO2 Jeffrey Alvarez, and at least four civilians were injured in the attack and have been brought to hospitals, Santotome said.

The incident occurred around 3:45 a.m. while members of the La Castellana Police, BPAT, tanods, and some of their family members, including children, were passing through a remote area in Brgy. Puso on a Canter truck.

The policemen, tanods, and BPAT members had just finished providing security to the barangay fiesta, Santotome said.

A forensics policeman in front of the ambushed truck. (Photo from Negros Occidental PNP)About 30 fully-armed men flagged down the truck, told the children to disembark from the vehicle, and then fired upon those who were left on board, he said.

Nung pinarahan, dun nagstop ‘yung truck, dun nila (armed men) binanatan and then pina-ano pa, finishing, lalo na ‘yung pulis, tinira pa sa ulo para ma-ensure na patay,” Santotome said.

The rebels, who took at least three M16 rifles and three caliber-.45 pistols from the victims, are believed to have withdrawn to neighboring Negros Oriental after the incident.

Provincial police director Senior Supt. Celestino Guara has ordered the Provincial Public Safety Company to pursue the rebels with the help of the Army’s Special Forces and Scout Rangers, Santotome said. (John Roson)

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Police arrested a woman, her son, and 17-year-old daughter in a drug bust operation in Victorias City, Negros Occidental, Monday night.

Annabelle De Asis, 47, and her son Ian, 27, were arrested around 7:20 p.m. along Gen. Malvar st., Lopez Subd., Brgy. 6, Chief Insp. Rico Santotome Jr., head of the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (PAIDSOTG), said.

The two sold six sachets of methampetamine hydrochloride or shabu to police operatives for P500, according to Santotome.

Operatives also seized from the two some P970 cash believed to be proceeds of their illegal activities, two cellphones, and various drug paraphernalia.

De Asis’ daughter, a college student in the city, was also apprehended after she was caught carrying drug paraphernalia with suspected shabu residue, Santotome said.

The arrest literally put all members of the family behind bars, as De Asis’ husband is also in jail after having been arrested for illegal drug possession during a raid on their home last July.

Monday’s entrapment, carried out by members of the PAIDSOTG, Negros Occidental PNP Intelligence Branch, and 6th Regional Public Safety Battalion, was a follow-up to the buy-bust operation in Manapla which led to the arrest of three other drug suspects earlier this month, Santotome said. (John Roson)

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Authorities seized some P175,000 worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu and arrested four people during a raid at an alleged drug den in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, Saturday afternoon.

Arrested were the drug den’s alleged operator Jolito Alopenia Sr., 45, his live-in partner Precy Alopenia, 46, Sheila Mae Cainoy, 32, and Jerry Ybiernas, 24, Chief Insp. Rico Santotome, head of the Negros Occidental PNP’s Anti Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group, said.

Members of the Cadiz City Police carried out the operation in Brgy. Zone 4 on a search warrant issued by Municipal Trial Court Judge Reginald Fuentebella, Santotome said.

During the raid, police confiscated six big packs and 18 small plastic sachets of suspected shabu, a weighing scale, calculators, lighters, an improvised scoop, and pins used in repacking illegal drugs, as well as a motorcycle.

Some P24,568 cash, believed to be proceeds of the illegal trade, was also recovered from Alopenia, Santotome said. (John Roson)

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Authorities have released sketches of three more suspects in the killing of Negros Occidental judge Henry Arles, bringing the number of suspects to five.

Chief Insp. Rico Santotome, Negros Occidental Provincial Police spokesman, said among the three is a man with a possible identifying mark on the left eye.

The man, who used a bandage on his left eye and wore a helmet at the time of the killing, maybe the driver of the tricycle used to ambush Arles in Ilog town last April 24, Santotome said.

The two others were not wearing helmets and one of them maybe the gunman, said Santotome, who is also acting chief of the provincial police’s investigation branch.

Earlier, police released sketches of a man and a woman who were seen roaming near Arles’ office in Kabankalan City, apparently studying the judge’s daily habits and pattern of travelling before the murder.

Meanwhile, Santotome said Arles’ family and friends announced a P1.2-million reward for those who can lead authorities in arresting the suspects.

Arles’ daughter, Atty. Ria Arles, said their family is offering P1 million while her father’s fellow members of the judiciary pitched in for an additional P200,000.

The younger Arles also revealed that they suspect an “influential” family in the province’s sixth district of having a hand in her father’s death.

“Subject for confirmation pa ito, hindi naman siya (Ria Arles) nagbigay ng specifics,” Santotome said.

During a case conference in Camp Montelibano, Arles’ daughter also read a letter from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army, which conveyed the rebel group’s sympathy to the family of whom it described as a fair judge. (John Roson)

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