Anti-drug cop shot dead in Negros Or.

Rescuers arrive at the scene where Police Executive Master Sergeant Roldan Esmajer was shot by unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen at Barangay Tapon Norte B, San Jose, Negros Oriental Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – A police anti-drug operative in a municipal police station in Negros Oriental was killed in an ambush at Barangay Tapon Norte B, San Jose town Tuesday night.

Killed was Police Executive Master Sergeant Roldan Esmajer, 47, of the said village.

Police Colonel Julian Entoma, director of Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (Norppo), said Esmajer was driving a motorcycle to San Jose Municipal Police Station, where he was assigned, when he was tailed by two unidentified motorcycle-riding suspects.

He just had his dinner at home and was on his way to work around 7 p.m. when the motorcycle moved closer to him, Entoma added.

One of the riders allegedly shot him three times, and fled. The gunmen on board a black Raider 150 motorcycle wore jackets and black helmets.

Esmajer suffered three gunshot wounds on his abdomen and chest. He was rushed to Silliman Medical Center in Dumaguete City, where he expired 45 minutes later.

“He was shot at close range. Tinapos talaga siya,” Entoma said, adding that the perpetrators may have other companions as lookout during the attack.

Entoma said they have yet to establish the motive but they are eyeing three possible angles behind the killing.

He said they are looking into work-related since Esmajer was assigned as a drug operative for 15 years.

Police also do not discount the possibility that the murder has also something to do with the personal life of the policeman, though he has no bad record in the police service, Entoma said.

He said they will also check if he had threats prior to the incident.

Entoma also said that the killing might be linked to New People’s Army (NPA) atrocities through their Special Partisan Unit (Sparu) since the province is not yet insurgency-free.

“Hindi kasi maiwasan na out of nowhere, biglang titira sila sa mga soft targets,” he said, though there has been no confirmation yet about the link of the Sparu behind the killing.

He said they have a copy of closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage but the faces of the perpetrators can hardly be seen.

Right after the shooting, the provincial police director reiterated his directive to his men to change their pattern when they leave their houses or police stations.

Meanwhile, the flags at Norppo headquarters and the said police station are on half-mast as they mourn the death of their colleague.