A DRIVER of a motorcycle for hire, commonly known as “habal-habal,” who was allegedly showing his fellow drivers a caliber .45 pistol was shot and killed by a policeman at Uslay, Zayas, Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City, Wednesday night, December 28.

Police identified the fatality as Rocky Barbieto, 28, a resident of Zayas landfill, in this city while the suspect has been identified as Police Officer (PO) 3 Leoncio Oliveros Jr. of Police Station 3.

Investigators said Oliveros had gone to a vulcanizing shop at the said place when he saw the victim showing his pistol to fellow motor for hire drivers.

Oliveros subsequently approached Barbieto and introduced himself as a police officer but, following a short argument, the victim allegedly aimed his pistol at Oliveros.

A scuffle ensued between the two in which Oliveros drew his service firearm and shot the victim.

Barbieto sustained a lone gunshot wound at the left chest and was rushed to JR Borja General Hospital but did not reach the hospital alive.

Recovered at the crime scene were three fired cartridges cases and one fired bullet.

Oliveros reported the incident to Police Station 4 and turned over the seized loaded caliber .45 pistol.

The victim's common law partner Maria Cathreen Lerin confirmed that Barbieto was armed with a firearm when he left their house.

Chief Inspector Mardy Hortillosa II, deputy spokesperson of Police Regional Office (PRO)-Northern Mindanao, said Oliveros just did the right thing.

"Sa side sa PNP, gisunod lang ang instruction sa president ug ni Chief PNP nga basta mamiligro na ang kinabuhi mugamit na jud og last nga pamaagi nga mao ang armas (On the side of the PNP, [he] just followed the intructions of the president and the PNP chief that whenever one’s life would be in danger, its last resort is to use firearms)," Hortillosa said.

"Sakto lang ang gihimo sa polis kay nakiglayog naman niya ang napusilan kay kung wala pud to niya buhata basin iyang kinabuhi ang mamiligro (The policeman did the right thing since the victim had grappled with him. If not, his life would be the one in danger)," Hortillosa added.

Hortillosa, however, said PRO-Northern Mindanao will still order an investigation through the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo).

"Para walay duda paimbestigahan gyud ang nahitabo. Nalipay mi sa gihimo sa atong police sa paghimo sa iyang trabaho nga masanta ang daotan (The incident will be investigated to erase doubt. We were happy on what the police did to fight a crime)," Hortillosa said.