TWO persons tagged as behind the gun-slaying of a policeman and wounding of three others were arrested in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, the police reported Sunday.

Nabbed were Ramos Montaner and Honey Alibasa "who actually participated and conspired to shoot the victims," according to Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer-in-charge Inspector Dahlan Samuddin.

Samuddin said the suspects were arrested in a hot pursuit operation around 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Sitio Tigbalogo in the village of Digon, Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur.

He said the suspects were tagged as those who killed Police Officer 1 (PO1) Ryan Ponce, 31, of Margosatubig Police Station. Wounded were Ponce's father Leopoldo, 60, a retired policeman; Roland Himaya, 24, a security guard; and Ruby Rosa Cantarona, 51, a housekeeper.

Samuddin said investigation showed that around 5:30 a.m. Saturday, the suspects disarmed and shot Himaya, who was on duty that time at the Margosatubig Regional Hospital.

The suspects proceeded to the residence of Ponce an hour later at Sitio Caliemabato in Barangay Poblacion. The suspects allegedly shot Ponce, who was then having a conversation with his father and Cantarona, Samuddin said.

Ponce was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician at the hospital while the other victims were admitted for treatment.

Samuddin said the motive of the incident is believed to be revenge since Alibasa's father was killed by the police 10 years ago.

He said the suspects were detained and appropriate charges are being readied for filing against them. (Bong Garcia)