A POLICE officer and two civilians got wounded after they were caught in the crossfire between two rival youth groups in Barangay Parian, Cebu City at dawn Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022.

The victims were identified as Executive Master Sergeant Vincent Aguanta, who is assigned at the Consolacion Police Station; and Donna Blair Saavedra Banzon and Anthony Bolocon Corro, both residents of Barangay Tejero in Cebu City.

Aguanta was cleaning his car outside his house on Bonifacio St., while Banzon and Corro were walking towards home after attending Misa de Gallo when they were hit by stray bullets.

The police officer was brought to a private hospital after being wounded on his right arm, while the two other victims were rushed to Cebu City Medical Center after being hit in the chin and back.

Maj. Efren Diaz, chief of Parian Police Station, said the incident occurred due to a commotion between rival youth groups Marka Tabla and Amerson.

Diaz said the members of Marka Tabla had just passed by the area when they noticed that members of Amerson, who were hanging around, were reportedly armed with handguns. This resulted in a violent encounter between the two groups.

During the encounter, the rival groups started chasing one another until they reached Bonifacio St. where they reportedly exchanged gunfire.

The incident was caught by a CCTV camera placed in the area.

Diaz told reporters that most of the members of Marka Tabla came from Barangays Parian, Lorega San Miguel, T. Padilla and Hipodromo, while that of Amerson were from Barangays Tejero and Tinago.

He said they already invited those involved in the incident to come to the station to shed light on the incident.

In a separate interview, Col. Ireneo Dalogdog, Cebu City Police Office director, said he already ordered Diaz to not only conduct a probe but also file charges for alarm and scandal and frustrated homicide against those involved in the shootout.

Dalogdog said this was the third time that a group of youngsters had committed criminal acts in the city and they will no longer tolerate it.

“We will teach them a lesson by filing criminal cases against them. If we don’t do anything about it, they will keep on doing the same. They should not be forgiven,” Dalogdog said.

The police will also coordinate with the barangay officials to solve the problem among the youth, especially since the Sinulog season is approaching. (TPT)