A MAN suspected of killing an anti-narcotics policeman two years ago was killed in a shootout with policemen, who were trying to arrest him yesterday afternoon.

Ronel “Tata” Wagas, 23, allegedly fought off police officers from the Provincial Intelligence Branch, Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (Raidsotf) and the Mandaue City Police Office, who were serving a warrant against him.

Wagas was accused of the murder of PO2 Jose Clint Cañete, a member of Raidsotf, on Oct. 21, 2008.

Initial reports stated that the shootout happened in the mountain barangay of Tag-ubi, Compostela, some 20 kilometers from the town proper and about 18 kilometers from the highway.

The three units were led by the heads of office: Supts. Marvin Sanchez, Rodolfo Albotra and Jason Capoy.

Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Erson Digal went to the area past 4 p.m. yesterday after he was told what happened.


Police received a tip that Wagas was in Tag-ubi. They went there, armed with an arrest warrant for murder issued last Dec. 18 and a warrant for selling illegal drugs issued last June 11.

When they got to the barangay, police said they saw people playing “hantak” (coin-betting game) and “tigbakay” (illegal cockfight). There were reports that Wagas served as a collector for these games.

When Wagas spotted them, he allegedly fired several shots. But he was no match for their Armalite rifles and other short firearms.

He also allegedly hurled a hand grenade at them but the device failed to explode.

Wagas ended up dying from several gunshot wounds.

PO2 Cañete had just come from a court hearing in Lapu-Lapu City when he was shot on the Mandaue side of the first Mandaue-Mactan Bridge last October.

Arnel Tejero Montero, 37, of Compostela, was arrested in January last year after he admitted that he drove the motorcycle that tailed Cañete from Lapu-Lapu City.

Montero said he received P5,000 cash for driving the motorcycle and helping Wagas shoot Cañete.

He said Wagas worked for Paquito “Quipot” Oyao, who was arrested for a drug-related case.

When police arrested Montero in a buy-bust, Wagas was reportedly with him but he got away. (MEA/With DRT of Super-balita)