Philippine National Police

Controversial cop in critical condition after Cebu City ambush

John Sitchon
Controversial cop in critical condition after Cebu City ambush

AMBUSH. A cop and a party-list candidate are ambushed on a busy road in Cebu City.

Mabolo SMART Facebook

Police Lieutenant Chuck Barandog was driving his wife Yvonne, a partylist candidate, when they were attacked on Sunday evening in Mabolo, Cebu City

CEBU, Philippines – A controversial Cebu police officer who was accused of harassing allies of former Cebu City mayor Tommy Osmeña and supporters in 2019 was ambushed by unidentified gunmen early Monday morning, May 2. 

Police Lieutenant Chuck Barandog was driving his wife Yvonne, a partylist candidate, Sunday evening in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City, when riding-in-tandem gunmen shot at their vehicle. 

The couple is in critical condition as of Monday afternoon, Cebu City police told Rappler in an interview. 

The couple was using the service vehicle of STL partylist, and were driving at the intersection of Pope John Paul II and F. Cabahug when the attack happened.

Barandog sustained 11 gunshot wounds: One to the right leg, four in the left arm, two on the forearm, two to the interior abdomen, and two to the groin area.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Maria Therese Macatangay, Cebu City Police Office’s (CCPO) information officer told Rappler in an interview that it’s not clear yet what the motive was behind the ambush.

“We cannot conclude na merong link sa political ang pangyayari na eto since hindi naman siya kumakandidato (We cannot conclude that what had happened has any political link as he is not a candidate),” she said.

“We are, however, looking into his performance as a policeman,” Macatangay added.

“About three hours ago, we learned that his condition was critical,” she said.

According to Macatangay, based on ballistic evidence, they believe that Barandog was the target of the ambush, as the trajectory of bullets were centered at the driver’s seat (Barandog was driving).

“He’s on medical ventilation. That’s what we were told,” she added.

Barandog’s wife sustained minor injuries. Members of the STL partylist and Barandog’s immediate family have yet to talk to the police about other possible motives for the attack.

While the police have not yet called the shooting election-related, it’s the first involving a candidate running for office in Cebu City. 

Osmeña publicly accused Barandog of harassing and intimidating his allies and supporters when he ran for reelection as mayor in 2019. 

The former mayor also said Barandog was responsible for killing two tanods and a female supporter in Barangay Lusaran while the Cebu City Mobile Force Command served a search warrant in February.

Barandog was also chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Central Visayas’ Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Central Visayas (CIDG-7).

He’s currently assigned at PNP headquarters in Camp Came

PNP leadership ordered an investigation into the incident then, although it’s unclear if he was cleared of responsibility for those killings.

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama directed the PNP to conduct a swift investigation into the attack on Barandog.

He also mentioned that the wife, Yvonne, is his “relative.”

Rama said fear of violence during the election period could deter voters from coming to the polls.

Ang kasulbaran sa maong krimen will provide a political climate nga magmadasigon ang mga mamutar nga gawasnong makapadayag sa ilang pili-onon (To solve this crime will provide a climate more conducive for voters to freely express their support for their candidate),” Rama said.

Rappler also reached out to Osmeña for comment, but we have yet to get a response. –