THE two village watchmen killed in a shooting incident in the mountain barangay of Lusaran, Cebu City on Friday dawn, Feb. 22, were hitmen, according to a police official.
Chief Insp. Chuck Barandog of the City Mobile Force Company said Renato Goc-ong and Reynaldo Laguna were known members of an armed group operating in far-flung barangays in the city.
“These men are known gun-for-hire in the mountain barangays and they are a group. Remember last barangay election, when there were complaints of sightings of armed men in mountain barangays? It was them,” Barandog said in Cebuano.
During the 2018 barangay elections, the Cebu City Police Office received complaints about the presence of armed men in several mountain barangays who harassed voters.
Barandog accused Lusaran Barangay Captain Agustin Partulan of protecting the group.
The police went to the area last Friday to serve a search warrant, which resulted in the gunfight that also wounded PO3 Pacheco Pulgo.
Barandog said Reynaldo’s brother Julito Marikit escaped.
Reynaldo had a criminal record and was jailed for murder together with Roger Doncillo, a noted wanted person for murder and homicide.
Meanwhile, Barandog denied Goc-ong son’s allegations that his father was killed even after he surrendered.
He said they understood the boy’s sentiment, but it was against police policy to shoot a suspect who surrendered. Police were defending themselves, he said.
Barandog said the police introduced themselves when they arrived at Goc-ong’s house but Goc-ong’s wife ran into the house and shut the door behind her after they introduced themselves.
When she would not open the door, police were forced to barge in. But someone inside fired a gun and hit Pulgo.
“We understand the feelings of the son but who in his right mind would want someone to die? No one. There was already an exchange of gunfire and we did not know if the wife was already hit. She did not surrender because if she did, she would not have died,” Barandong said.
Police Regional Office 7 Director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas tasked the Regional Internal Affairs Service to investigate if the police operational procedure was followed in the Lusaran operation.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, Pulgo was given a “Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting” by Sinas inside the hospital. (from AYB of Superbalita Cebu, VLA)