By: Jennifer P. Rendon
Four months into his abduction, retired Police Major Lito Pirote’s whereabouts is still unknown.
Police Colonel Henry Biñas, Bacolod City police chief, said they received several supposed leads on Pirote’s location but these all led to dead ends.
There were reports that he was allegedly spotted in some areas in Negros Occidental and even Guimaras.
“We pursued the leads but they all turned out negative,” he said.
Meanwhile, Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, Western Visayas police chief, said that while Pirote’s abduction might end up as a cold case, it doesn’t mean that they would end their investigation.
“Kahit naman part siya ng cold case, tinatrabaho pa rin naman siya. Our investigators would still follow every lead that will come their way,” he said.
Until now, police have yet to identity Pirote’s abductors or the motive of the kidnapping.
Pirote, who was linked to an P11-billion shabu shipment, was abducted while attending a family gathering at a Bacolod City hotel on Good Friday, April 19.
His abductors wore tactical gear and masks when they broke into the Metro Inn where Pirote’s family was holding gathering.
The suspects disarmed the hotel’s security guards and ordered the employees and guests to lie down on the floor.
Two of the suspects served as lookouts while five proceeded to Pirote’s location and forcibly dragged him out of the hotel.
Witnesses also reported that Pirote tried to resist the kidnappers, but one of the suspects hit his head with a rifle butt.
Pirote was then pushed inside a white Toyota HiAce van with registration plate YS-4514 which immediately sped northwards.
Pirote retired from police service in January 2019 and was formerly assigned under the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group of the Philippine National Police.