CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A police officer was killed while another was wounded when a routine checkpoint in Libertad town in Misamis Oriental turned bloody Monday night, February 17.
Also killed in that gunfight at the police checkpoint in Libertad, 40 kilometers west of this city, was one of the suspects. Jephone Tinamisan, a resident of Banadero, Ozamiz City, who was identified in his ID.
Brigadier General Rolando Anduyan, Northern Mindanao regional police director, said that Staff Sergeant Ronald Caayupan and Chief Master Sergeant Fernando Maestrado were part of the police checkpoint in Libertad, which was fired at by a group of men on a speeding car.
According to a police report, the suspects earlier disregarded and sped past an El Salvador City police checkpoint. This prompted the El Salvador cops to radio their counterparts in Libertad town.
As the white sedan Mitsubishi Mirage approached the Libertad checkpoint, the 5 men aboard opened fired at the police team.
All 5 suspects jumped out of the vehicle during the gan battle.
Caayupan was hit but was able to return fire. The other cops were also able to shoot back. Maestrado was wounded in the exchange.
Both police officers were brought to the Initao Hospital, where Caayupan was declared dead by attending physician. Maestrado was later brought to this city.
Police arrested a second suspect on Tuesday February 18. Richardson Perez, a Cebu resident temporarily living in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental, was immobile and hiding in a grassy near the checkpoint.
Police said Perez may have broken his leg as he jumped off the bridge into a dry river below.
Perez told police that they were on their way to Tubod town in Lanao del Norte to conduct robbery.
Police recovered from the crime scene: 4 caliber 45 pistols, 2 units KG 9 semi-automatic pistols, a 9mm pistol and 4 hand grenades.
Recovered from Tinamisan's body were 5 pieces small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance believed to be shabu.
Anduyan said police were still searching for 3 other suspects who fled on foot.
"There is no perfect execution and the danger is always there to our personnel, that is why there was an incident like this. But the command will always remind them to be always vigilant and security conscious," Anduyan said. – Rappler.com