By: Dolly Yasa and Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The head of the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) said they continue to work on the case of retired Police Major Lito Pirote, who was abducted two months ago, despite facing a blank wall.
Police Colonel Henry Biñas issued the statement after Pirote’s daughter, Kate, decried the lack of attention and progress in her father’s case.
Biñas told the Daily Guardian that he understands the feelings of the Pirote family even as he assured that the BCPO continues to investigate the case.
But he admitted that they are still looking for leads in the case.
“The van used by the suspects until now has yet to be located. The BCPO has issued lookout notices in all ports but they have yet to receive any information that will help trace the vehicle.
Biñas said he could not say whether Pirote and his abductors are still here in Negros.
Unless Pirote surfaces, they are uncertain if he is still alive or not.
Pirote was abducted at a hotel here last April 19, 2019 and remains missing until now. He was among the five police officials who were relieved from their posts in October 2018 after being linked by President Rodrigo Duterte to the alleged recycling of illegal drugs seized in police operations.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General John Bulalacao, Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 director, said he cannot pressure Biñas and the investigators handling the Pirote case to hasten the probe due to lack of evidence.
Biñas said they lack witnesses and physical evidence to support the investigation. He said a copy of the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage from the hotel that they secured is not enough to identify the perpetrators.
Bulalacao said they have created an oversight committee and task force to focus probing the incident.
“Though we have information about his alleged involvement in illegal drugs, following his inclusion in Duterte’s list, we have yet to get evidence that will prove our theory. We should dig deeper to find out what really happened,” he added.
We cannot just focus on one angle because he may have other personal engagements that turned sour, Bulalacao said, adding that Pirote might have been neutralized by other drug syndicates.
“We’ll never know,” he said.
However, Bulalacao said that these angles are not proven yet in the absence of physical evidence and testimonies.
Despite their difficulties, Bulalacao said his standing order still remains to find Pirote and identify the perpetrators.