2 killed in MisOr shootout
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- A shootout between a group of armed men and law enforcers in the Misamis Oriental town of Libertad Monday night led to the deaths of a policeman and civilian.
“We are still determin
ing whether [suspects are involved in] gunrunning, drug trafficking or gun for hire, due to the magnitude of the evidence that we recovered,” said Col. Roy Bahian, the Misamis Oriental provincial police chief, in a press conference on Tuesday.
Based on police report, five men on board a white Mitsubishi Mirage fired at a group of police officers at a checkpoint in Barangay Poblacion, Libertad town at around 8:20 p.m.
Killed were Staff Sgt. Ronald Caayupan and driver Jephone Tinamisan, of Ozamiz City while Chief Master Sgt. Fernando Maestrado was wounded during the shootout.
Recovered at the site were various firearms, ammunition, hand grenades, and five plastic packets containing white crystalline substance believed to be shabu.
Bahian said they also recovered cellphones belonging to the suspects.
A pursuit operation, he said, resulted in the arrest of Richard Perez, who reportedly jumped off a bridge during a chase by law enforcers.
Perez, who sustained broken bones, initially introduced himself to authorities as Richard Manda of LapuLapu City.
Interviewed by reporters, Perez admitted they were planning to stage a robbery and were on their way to Tubod, Lanao del Norte, when their vehicle was flagged down in Libertad. He did not elaborate.
Lt. Col. Mardy Hortillosa, the regional police spokesperson, said pursuit operation has been launched against the three other suspects who managed to escape.
Hortillosa said Brig. Gen. Rolando Anduyan, regional police director, has directed police units from nearby towns to help search the fleeing suspects.