CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — A member of the armed group of five men who engaged law enforcers in a shootout that killed two persons, including a police officer, in Libertad town, Misamis Oriental on Monday was killed by police operatives in a village in said town early Friday morning, Feb. 21.
Police have yet to release the identity of the fatality, but he was called as “Bulaw,” in reference to his dyed blonde-colored hair.
Witnesses said “Bulaw,” believed to be the group’s leader based on his companions’ confessions, went around Barangay Poblacion asking for water prior to being shot by the police.
A resident of said village, who asked not to be named for security reasons, told reporters he was approached by the suspect and asked him for a glass of water.
He said “Bulaw” sported tattoos all over his body and wore what he described as items that look like amulets on his hip, neck, wrist, and ankle, and even in his pocket.
Aside from drinking the water offered to him, the resident said “Bulaw” also washed his hands and feet, and even asked for clothing and footwear.
“He asked if I have an extra shirt and flip-flops. My wife gave him my granddaughter’s used flip-flops,” he said.
When “Bulaw” left, he said his wife called up the police. A team of police officers happened to be nearby as they continue the search for the culprits when they received the call.
The villager said they identified “Bulaw” through a photo taken of him going around Poblacion and shared by residents on social media.
Col. Roy Bahian, Misamis Oriental provincial police chief, in a press briefing Friday said responding officers fired several shots at the suspect before he went down on a mound planted with bananas.
Bahian said the killed suspect was in possession of a fragmentation grenade.
Also recovered from “Bulaw” were two cellphones and a bunch of identification cards bearing different names. But Bahian said they are able to identify the suspect based on a document taken from him.
Bahian said the alleged perpetrator was shot dead by police officers in Barangay Poblacion, Libertad, after four days of hiding from pursuing operatives.
On Thursday, another member of the group was arrested in the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 19.
Police have yet to identify the arrested suspect. But his other companion who was nabbed on Tuesday, Feb. 18 was identified as Richard Perez, who also goes by the name “Richard Manda.”
Bahian said “Bulaw” was the one who shot Staff Sgt. Ronald Caayupan of the Libertad police when the armed group fired at the officers manning a checkpoint in Libertad on Monday night.
Also killed during that encounter on Monday was Jephone Tinamisan, from Ozamiz City, the vehicle’s driver.
Taken from the suspects’ vehicle, a white Mitsubishi Mirage, were four pieces caliber .45 handguns, two pieces KG 9 semi-automatic firearms, a 9mm pistol, four pieces hand grenade, and five small plastic sachets containing white substance suspected to be “shabu” or crystal meth.
On Wednesday, Feb. 19, police have filed cases against the suspects for murder, frustrated murder, illegal possession of firearms and explosives, and illegal drugs, said Lt. Col. Mardy Hortillosa, regional police spokesperson. (davaotoday.com)