AN armed man was shot dead in a police encounter inside the Archbishop’s Palace yesterday morning.
Jefrey Cañedo allegedly engaged responding police officers from the Mobile Patrol Group (MPG) past 10 a.m.
According to Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, security guards tried to stop Cañedo, who was on his motorcycle, from entering the premises, but the latter sped up instead. He said he didn’t want to talk to anyone but Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.
When he reached the priests’ residence, Palma’s aides talked to Jefrey.
“He was wearing a helmet and a bonnet. The security approached him and asked him what his purpose was in talking to Archbishop Palma. He said that he wanted to confess and he seemed disturbed so they called the police,” Sinas said.
He said that Jefrey’s .38 revolver was in plain sight.
Jefrey also allegedly told the policemen to leave. “’Nganong naa man mo diri (Why are you here)? Ayaw mo pag apil-apil ani (This is none of your business)!’ Then he pulled his gun and pointed to our police officers,” the police official said.
“When our police officers came, he ran and pulled his gun while shouting. That prompted our officers to fire at him,” Sinas added.
PO1 Shiela Estremos, one of the first responders, said that Jefrey didn’t heed their call to drop to the ground.
Sinas ordered four police officers to be deployed in the area after the incident, two in uniform and two in plain clothes
“Para ma-assured sila nga naay (This is to assure them that there is) security without necessarily disturbing their activities,” he said.
“Kinahanglan nato i-secure si (We need to secure the) archbishop,” Sinas said, on the possibility of assigning close-in police escorts to Palma.
No imminent threat
Msgr. Joseph Tan, spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Cebu, confirmed that their security called the police because of the way Jefrey talked.
“He seemed disoriented and wanted to seek an audience with Archbishop Palma,” he said.
They just wanted him to leave peacefully, Tan said. “Way nahimong storya nga tarung kay naglabang-labang iyang storya (He didn’t seem to make any sense),” he said.
He said that they don’t feel any imminent threat and that they hope the case was isolated.
Jefrey’s father is retired police inspector Feliciano Cañedo. The latter, together with Jefrey’s younger sister, were invited to talk to the police and the priests.
The elder Cañedo said that his son was depressed because he was recently separated from his wife and two kids.
No speculations, please
“Naa na siyay dakong kaguol na gidala-dala og way pormal nga storya (He had a big problem but we don’t know the whole story). Buotan kaayo na (My son was a good man). He was mentally disturbed because he wanted his marriage to his wife annulled,” he said.
Feliciano said he was unaware that his son had a gun.
“He just wanted to ask for spiritual counseling from not just any priest but from Archbishop Palma. Ako lang ni isalig sa Ginoo (I’ll leave this up to God),” he said.
Jinelyn also said that her brother was a good person.
Jefrey’s body was blessed by Auxilliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo after it was processed by investigators.
Recovered from the scene were 20 empty shells, Jefrey’s .38 revolver with four live bullets, two empty shells inside the cylinder and six bullets inside his pocket.
In a statement, Villarojo urged the public to avoid speculations concerning the incident.
He said he already called Palma to brief him on the incident.
Palma has been in Manila since Monday to attend a meeting with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Villarojo said that with police still investigating the incident, he urged the public to remain calm and to pray for Jefrey. (With JKV)