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Quezon cop found positive for drugs ambushed

By Gemi Formaran
PSMS Lowie Vargas on a trike
where he was left by his attackers.
(Photo by Gemi Formaran)
February 29, 2020

LUCENA CITY - A police sergeant facing summary dismissal proceedings is in serious condition after he was repeatedly shot by two unidentified gunmen riding in tandelm on a motorcycle along National road at Brgy. Gulang-gulang, this city, on Monday.

Police Senior Master Sergeant Lowie Vargas, 41, resident of Real, Quezon and presently assigned at Personnel Holding and Accounting Office (PHAO) at Quezon Police Provincial Office headquarters sustained multiple gunshot wounds in the body and head, said Lt. Col. Romulo Albacea, the city police chief.

Albacea said Vargas was on a tricycle when shot several times in close range by one of the two suspects who tailed him at 10:45 a.m.

The suspects fled towards the city proper, leaving the wounded policeman in the trike.

Bystanders, who witnessed the shooting, rushed Vargas to Quezon Medical Center.

Albacea said the victim was taken at the hospital's Intensive Care Unit for severe and fatal wounds.

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It was learned that Vargas has a pending administrative complaint before Quezon PNP's Internal Affairs Service for alleged grave misconduct and conduct of unbecoming of a police officer.

Vargas was formerly assigned at the Real Municipal Police Station in Northern Quezon as jail warden but he, along with three other police officers, were administratively relieved for evasion through negligence after it was discovered that a detained rape suspect had escaped from the custodial facility, an incident which they did not report to the provincial headquaters.

In a surprised drug test conducted on January 8 on orders of Quezon police director Col. Audie Madrideo, Vargas and another cop tested positive for drugs.

Albacea said they learned that the escape of rape suspect from the custodial facility which was allegedly allowed by Vargas being the jail warden, had earned the ire of the relatives of the rape victim.

"So, we are looking into the possibility that it has something to do with the shooting of Vargas. But we are still digging deeper into the attack", Albacea said. 

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