Cop who shot hostage-taker hailed as hero

Col. Mark Pespes saw an opportunity and did not hesitate to put a bullet in the head of Feliciano Sulayao who held jailed former senator Leila de Lima at the Custodial Center of Camp Crame in Quezon City Sunday.

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. provided the details as he lauded Pespes and the other policemen who killed three inmates attempting to escape custody.

“He (Pespes) is the hero because he initiated the negotiation and took advantage of a situation to neutralize the hostage taker,” Abalos told reporters after visiting De Lima.

Pespes is the director of the Headquarters Support Service.

“Col. Pespes showed decisiveness. He assessed the situation, bought time, and then when the opportunity was presented, he shot the hostage taker and saved Sen. de Lima,” Abalos narrated.

Pespes said he negotiated with Sulayao for about 15 minutes before he realized the gravity of the situation.

“The former senator’s life was already in danger so we need to end the situation,” said Pespes who killed the hostage taker after he asked for a bottle of water.

“Being part of the Special Action Force, it will not be good if the hostage is killed. We are very fortunate to keep our former senator in harm’s way,” he said.

Because of the incident, Pespes said that visiting hours were suspended.

During his visit, Abalos said he relayed the message of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., asking de Lima if she wants to be transferred.

But Abalos said de Lima told him that she feels safe there.

Abalos said one of the facilities offered was the detention facilities of senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada when they were detained over the pork barrel scam. Revilla was already cleared of the charges.

The facilities used to be the quarters of the officers of the PNP Custodial Center.

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