CATBALOGAN City — Police Chief Superintendent Elmer R. Soria, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) ordered Samar policemen to track down the suspects in the killing of a retired police officer in Catbalogan City last Tuesday.
“This is a very unfortunate incident. Whatever the motive of the perpetrators is, the attack is very uncivil and cold-blooded, and deserves appropriate police action to give justice to the victim and his family,” Soria told his men during Monday’s PRO8 Command Conference.
The police official said he has alerted PNP investigating units to join the hunt for the two gunmen who shot and killed Severino “Benny” Solis, a retired Police Senior Inspector in Catbalogan City.
Probers said the slain ex-cop Solis had just finished playing tennis at around 7:15 A.M. at the Capitol Tennis Court located behind the Samar provincial capitol when the two unidentified men treacherously shot him from behind.
Responding policemen conducted dragnet operations and alerted nearby units to possibly intercept the suspects while elements of the Samar Provincial Public Safety Company were also deployed to join the pursuit.
Investigators are now conducting forensic examination on the three slugs recovered from the victim’s body and four spent cartridges from a caliber .45 pistol that were recovered from the scene while police have already came up with a composite facial sketch of the suspects for possible identification by witnesses.
Solis was a highly decorated and well-respected police officer and regarded as a folk hero in Catbalogan City where he spent most of his law enforcement career.
He gained prominence and hero status when he shot and killed a mentally-deranged man who runs amuck in downtown Catbalogan in the late 80’s.
As seasoned investigator, he handled and solved several high profile cases in Catbalogan City in a colorful law enforcement career spanning three decades.
He was the Intelligence Officer of Samar Police Provincial Office when the PNP launched the first serious police operations against Private Armed Groups (PAGs) in Samar’s first district on January 25, 2005 when he led a composite team from the PNP, Navy Seals and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) leading to an armed encounter with high profile criminals.
Aside from capturing several lawless criminals, drug suspects and communist-terrorist leaders, Solis also served as Chief of Police in Daram, Pinabacdao and Hinabangan towns in Samar prior to his retirement from the service in 2009.