A man believed to be a former police intelligence officer, who had defected to the New People’s Army many years ago, died in a road accident at the south national highway of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental Saturday.
Police investigators have not confirmed it yet, but the man, whose driver’s license gives the name of Dave Aguilar Mercado, is believed to be Senior Police Officer 2 Joel Geollegue, formerly the deputy provincial chief of the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Negros Oriental.
This was before his defection to the NPA in northern Negros, for alleged “rampant corruption” and “injustice” during the Arroyo administration.
Initial police investigation showed that Mercado, driving a motorcycle at around 7:15 p.m. from Dumaguete figured in a collision with a tricycle in Banilad, Dumaguete City.
Police Officer 2 Gregorio Arnaiz, who responded to the scene, said Mercado, who was still conscious had told them he was going after another motorcycle to Bacong. He was, however, pronounced dead upon arrival at the Holy Child Hospital in Dumaguete, Insp. Romulo Llado of the Dumaguete police station said.
Dumaguete OIC police chief, Supt. Crisaleo Tolentino, said that he cannot confirm whether Mercado was indeed Geollegue as his face was a badly mutilated. Based on the photograph in the driver’s license found on him, he said there is an 80 to 90 percent chance that the victim was Geollegue.
Tolentino also would not confirm that the victim was Geollegue pending further verification. Reports, however, said that a certain Ivy Geollegue, who introduced herself as Mercado’s wife, claimed the body on Sunday.
Tolentino confirmed that when he was the provincial CIDG chief of Negros Oriental between 2002 and 2004, Geollegue was his deputy.
Geollegue had officially announced his defection to the NPA on June 5, 2005, and brought with him high-powered firearms. After he was received by the rebel group, he took the nom de guerre of “Ka Remar”.
Military records showed that Geollegue, who also used to be assigned at the 6th CIDT at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City, before his transfer to Negros Oriental, and reportedly held a position in the intelligence and technical unit of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros.
He was also reportedly the “master planner” of the successful raid of the Polopangyan detachment in Brgy. Bug-ang, Toboso last year, where 23 high-powered firearms were seized by rebels who disguised themselves as policemen, wearing CIDG uniforms.
Statements he later released to the media gave Geollegue’s reason for his defection to the NPA as that he had lost hope of finding justice in the “trumped up robbery charges” filed against him in 1993 by his fellow police officers.
He was convicted and meted a four to six year-sentence that was affirmed by the Supreme Court.
The body of Mercado/Geollegue was brought to his hometown, Himamaylan, the Dumaguete police said.*JFP
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