LIBERTAD, Misamis Oriental - The fourt suspect involved in a shootout in Libertad town, this province, finally fell into the hands of pursuing composite team of police operatives from the different police stations in the province, during a hot pursuit operation at around 6:20 am this morning (February 21).
Police probers identified the suspect only as alias "Bulaw." His identity cannot be established at press time as policemen are still waiting the SOCO team.
Earlier, two of the four suspects who jumped over Taytayan bridge in Purok 5, Barangay Dolong amid darkness on Monday night (Feb 17) were arrested by a team of policemen of Libertad Police Station.
They were identified as Richardson Perez, 31, a resident of Bangkal, Cebu City and Vic Abellana, a resident of Tangub City.
Both Perez and Abellana were captured when policemen received a tip from residents in Barangay Dolong reported their presence a few meters from the bridge.
Jephone Tinamisan, one of the five suspects, died on the spot during the shootout which also killed MSgt Ronald Caayupan, the policeman who flagged down the white Mitsubishi Mirage.
Provincial Police Director Col Robert Roy Bahian said charges of murder and frustrated murder were also filed yesterday at a court in Cagayan de Oro against the arrested suspects involved in the shootout
Earlier last Monday night (Feb 17), two people died during a sudden exchange of bullets at a checkpoint in Libertad town, Misamis Oriental, between police operatives manning the checkpoint and five armed suspects on board a white Mitsubishi vehicle.
During investigation conducted by the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO), a dead body was found at the crime scene, shoes, illegal drugs, wallet and identification cards, a white Mitsubishi Mirage vehicle owned by the suspects, 48 empty shells of high-caliber pistols, 4 pieces of caliber 45, and 1 piece of KG9 rifle.
Those who died from the police side after the gun battle was identified as Ssgt Ronald Caayupan, while the other dead person from the suspect's side was also identified as one Jephone Tinamisan, the vehicle driver.
Board member Dexter Yasay in an interview with a local radio station said Sgt Caayupan flagged down a white Mitsubishi Mirage vehicle but instead of stopping the vehicle, the suspects opened fire at the policemen manning the checkpoint which resulted in several minutes of gun battle. Afterwhich, four suspects fled from the crime scene and jumped off at the bridge and eluded arrest from responding police operatives.
Those who were wounded during the skirmishes were identified as Police officer Fernando Maestrado and a civilian Gemma Patlunag. They were immediately rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment, alongside with MSgt Caayupan. Unfortunately, MSgt Caayupan expired later at the hospital
Misamis Oriental Governor Vincente Yevgeny (Bambi) Emano also told reporters the Provincial Government will extend some help to the immediate families of the police who died, as well as those wounded policemen taken to the hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, a team of police operatives are now pursuing the suspects believed still in the town of Libertad but were only hiding.
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