Police officer, niece wounded in attack

PATROLMAN Percival Eborlas’ guardian angel came in the physical form of his nine-year-old niece.

The gunmen who tried to kill the police officer in Barangay Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City on Thursday night, Dec. 26, 2019, reportedly backed off after they noticed he was with his niece. The perpetrators escaped onboard a gray van.

Eborlas suffered gunshot wounds in the feet, while his niece got hit in the body. They were rushed to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.

Eborlas, 47, is the third person linked to retired Police Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo who was attacked. After Garbo’s retirement in March 2016, he was tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte as one of five “narco-generals” who protected drug lords, an allegation that Garbo denied.

He was the third person linked to Garbo who was attacked in just 13 months.

The first officer who was attacked was P/Cpl. Romeo Jumalon, Garbo’s former driver. He was shot dead by unidentified assailants outside his home in Barangay Pit-os, Cebu City on Dec. 23, 2018.

On May 3, 2019, P/MSg. Joseph Villamor, who was reportedly linked to the illegal drug trade and Garbo.

P/MSg. Nicolo Gonzales, investigator of the Mambaling Police Station, said his inquiry into the incident has been stymied as Eborlas’ family has refused to cooperate.

He said the family did not reveal the hospital where Eborlas is undergoing treatment.

Gonzales also felt like he was being stonewalled by the police officer’s neighbors, including those who witnessed the shooting.

To identify the armed men, Gonzales’ team would still have to check the security cameras in the neighborhood.

The investigator would also check on the cases Eborlas had handled when he was still with the intelligence branch of the Cebu City Police Office and the Cebu Police Provincial Office.

Eborlas received an order transferring him to a police unit in Negros Oriental last October.

Before he was shot, Eborlas had gone out of his house after eating dinner. He joined his neighbors who were having a conversation while smoking, then he lit up a cigarette.

Eborlas later noticed a gray van that passed by him. The vehicle disappeared from the police officer’s view, and after a few minutes, it returned.

Eborlas did not mind as there were other vehicles passing by the street. The van parked by the roadside, not far from Eborlas’ residence.

After his neighbors dispersed, the gunmen opened the van’s doors and attacked Eborlas, who was near his niece.

Eborlas and his niece rushed inside his house. The gunmen followed, but they left after they saw the girl was bleeding.

Eborlas is not the first person linked to Garbo to have been attacked.

On Dec. 23, 2018, P/Cpl. Romeo Jumalon, Garbo’s former driver, was shot dead by unidentified assailants outside his home in Barangay Pit-os, Cebu City. (AYB / KAL)