THE person who was killed in a hostage standoff along the highway in Barangay Magugpo, Tagum City, Davao del Norte, is a police officer who reportedly left one suicide note and two unopened letters for his station and Davao City police directors.

Police Regional Office (PRO) -Davao spokesperson Chief Inspector Jed Clamor identified the suspect as Senior Police Officer 4 (SPO4) Ricky Romandas Juanir of the San Pedro Police Station under the command of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).

Clamor said Juanir was neutralized by the Tagum City authorities after negotiations for his surrender failed.

A source from the San Pedro Police Station, who refused to be named for lack of authority to speak, said the suspect left a suicide note and sealed letters for San Pedro police officer-in-charge Hamlet Lerios and DCPO director Vicente Danao Jr.

"On duty na siya sa isa ka school. Milakaw na siya na walay pananghid unya ni text lang kay sir na, sorry wala nako ka pananghid sir. Matud niya muuli daw siya sa Mati para magpahulay. Gi-warning na siya daan sa iya performance sa trabaho, muretire na baya siya next year, pero milakaw jud siya (He’s assigned to a school. He left without taking a leave and only texted Danao apologizing. He said he is going home to Mati to rest. He was warned about his job performance, he was supposed to retire next year. Despite the warning, he left)," police said.

"Gisapot pud siya kay mao lagi naa daw siya asikasuhon importante. Dili man mi ingon na close pero kaila mi kay kauban ra gud mi sa trabaho. Siguro naa jud siya’y personal nga problema unya wala na niya na kaya mao nag nervous breakdown (He seemed agitated saying he has to attend to something very important. We’re not close, but we work together. Maybe he has a big problem that he was not able to manage, and thus his breakdown)," police added.

Davao del Norte Provincial Office (DNPPO) Director Samuel Gadingan, in a phone interview, said three men were supposed to stage a robbery holdup at Makulay Restaurant along Pioneer Avenue and Davao National Highway, however, the three instead held hostage two individuals when a police

patrol arrived in the area.

But his companion left, leaving him alone with the hostages around 7:20 p.m.; the hostage-taking dragged on for almost seven hours, Gadingan said.

Clamor said the security guard of the restaurant identified as Pedro Beltran tried to stop the suspect, but was shot on the chest. He added that the first responding policemen were barred and shot at, hitting PO3 Daniel Campomanes on his pelvis.

Gadingan added that when Juanir was cornered by the Davao del Norte police personal and Special Weapon and Tactics (Swat), the suspect barricaded himself in the kitchen area with two restaurant crew named Arante Roca and Julius Jamin.

"Before the two hostages were able to escape, a Crisis Management Committee was formed with Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon at the helm. Negotiations ensued; the committee exerted all necessary efforts to compel the suspect, but several hours passed and despite diplomatic means exhausted,

walang sinabi," Clamor said.

The police official said the silence of Juanir prompted the committee to resort to an assault. He added that around 2:30 a.m. Friday, the assaulting team from Tagum City Police Station, Regional Public Safety Battalion, and Special Action Force, stormed the restaurant where they were greeted

with gunfire by the suspect.

"Dun na namin nakilala ang suspect na police officer pala. After several exchange of fire, Juanir succumbed to several gunshot wounds in his body. As to the security guard and PO3 Campomanes, they are now safe and recovering at Tagum City hospital," Clamor said.

PRO regional director Chief Supt. Wendy G. Rosario, who went at the crime scene, lamented on the involvement of a policeman in such incident, but firmly reiterated that such act, regardless of who is involved, will be meted with corresponding consequences, and that PRO will not hesitate to apply the full force of the law even to their peers. (ICT)