Monday, August 11, 1997  

"Bodyguard" of Lim....... relieved from PSPO in... Jan.-- officer
But SSD source say Sarcol regularly seen at vice control section


SUN.STAR Staff Reporters  

     IS HE? or isn't he?

     PO3 Michael Sta. Iglesia Sarcol, who was reportedly designated as police bodyguard of businessman and suspected drug financier Peter G. Lim, has been assigned in Manila since January this year, according to a ranking official of the local PNP security protection office (PSPO). 

     But a source told SUN STAR DAILY that Sarcol regularly hangs around at the vice control section (VCS) on F. Ramos st., Cebu city.

     Chief insp. Jose Cosio, head of the PNP Visayas protection escort, said he relieved Sarcol last Jan. 22 after the policeman failed to report to his assignment as bodyguard of a shipowner in Cebu city. 

     Sarcol's name surfaced in last Saturday's house inquiry on illegal drugs in Cebu as among the five bodyguards of Lim.

     The four others were SPO1 Rey Matillano, a VCS agent; PO3 Bert Hibaya, of police mobile patrol group; Eddie Bustillo, an ex-army trainee; and Ananias Dy, a civilian.

     Parañague Rep. Roilo Golez, House committee chairman on public order and security, described the deployment of PNP personnel to Lim as "anomalous and shocking."

     He found it awkward that government should provide police bodyguards when the businessman has been on the drugs watch list of the Narcotics Group (NG) 7.

     Golez said the committee will ask PNP Director General Ricaredo Sarmiento to explain why Lim has been accorded VIP treatment.

     He said the PSPO is supposed to provide only VIP security to top ranking government officials and visiting foreign dignitaries.

     Cosio said Sarcol was no longer connected with his office to PSPO central office in Manila since Jan. 22.

     Sarcol's relief came after he failed to report as a personal guard of one Mr. Roble, owner of Roble Shipping Lines.

     But two months ago, Casio said Sarcol appeared in his office and supposedly showed him a letter order officially designating Sarcol as Lim's bodyguard.

     Cosio kept the letter order in his files.  He assured S.SD he would show today the letter order at his Police Regional Office 7 headquarters.

      The PNP chief refers the matter to the PSPO mmmm 

central office which then assesses if the requesting party should be given police escorts, he said.

     S.SD tried to contact PSPO Chief Robert Delfin in Camp Crame to no avail.

     Cosio said any person can request security protection if there is a threat on his life, family and property.

     Of the five bodyguards, Cebu City Police Chief Antonio Enteria Jr. told the committee that only Sarcol was officially designated as Lim's escort.

     Enteria said he did not detail Cebu city policemen Matillano and Hibaya to act as Lim's bodyguards, adding that the two have already been investigated.

     He said the two policemen were "moonlighting" at Lim's business establishments.

     VCS Chief Fortunato Quijon admitted Sarcol used to hang around in his office whenever the policeman had nothing to do, though he said he doe not mind it.

     A VCS blotter report also showed that Sarcol joined a surveillance operations conducted Last July 22 by VCS operatives in Perrelos, Carcar on suspected abductors of the Chiong sisters.

     The VCS agents include Matillano, PO2 Milo Areola and a certain SPO1 Nadanza.

     "Wa ko kahibawo ana nga diay nila ni Sarcol niadtong nag-surveilance sila," Quijon said.

     Three days later, Matillano picked up van-for-hire driver Alberto Caño and his conductor Ariel Balansag on suspicion that they were involved in the abduction of Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong last July 16.

     Marijoy's body was found dumped in a remote cliff in Carcar while her elder sister, Jacqueline is still missing.

     An NG 7 intelligence report also showed that Lim's former bodyguards included Insp. Gaudencio Gagape, and ex-PC Lozano brothers --- SPO4 Perfecto Lozano alias Dodong and CIC Vicente Lozano.

     The NG report, showed by Cuenco to reporters after the hearing, also mentioned the names of Lim's alleged civilian contacts: John Noval, William Po, Caloy Fuentes, a certain J.R. Chiong, and a certain Bernard. 

Comments: The first two accused, Caño and Balansag, of what is now known as the Chiong 7,  claimed having been tortured to admit to the crime and to just point out to Larrañaga and Aznar as the masterminds. "Anyway they are very rich," they pointed out to them. They were promised "rewards" if they both cooperated with the police. 

     For standing for the truth and not be blinded by promises of "rewards" , Caño and Balansag are now languishing in jail 7 years now and have been sentenced to die by the Supreme Court.

     Some years later, Officer Sarcol is "accidentally shot" to death by another fellow policeman as they were in pursuit of an alleged snatcher. The snatcher was also killed by the policeman. An investigation was ordered by the police authorities. But no results was ever reported by the newspapers.

NOTE:  1.  RED COLOR OURS FOR EMPHASIS.                                                                                

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