CEBU (Updated) -- A hot pursuit operation was launched Friday, May 6, against the incumbent mayor of Medellin town in northern Cebu after the official allegedly shot a former Capitol chief security officer.
Cebu Provincial Police Director Clifford Gairanod said in an interview Friday that based on witnesses' statements, Medellin Mayor Ricardo Ramirez shot Loy Madrigal after a fist fight around 7 a.m. in Bogo town.
"I received a phone call as early as 7 a.m. Nagpang-abot daw si mayor and Loy Madrigal. According to our initial report, they had a fist fight. Gikapoy an siguro sila'g sinumbagay, nilakaw si Loy, apan gipusil ni mayor. Natamaan yung driver side of Loy's vehicle," said Gairanod.
He added that a hot pursuit operation is ongoing against Ramirez, who left Medellin.
"Wala pa man nag 24 hours, so we can still pursue him. There is no exemption here. He is considered a suspect, but we will still check kung kinsa ang nag-una og panumbag. We will check the closed circuit television camera (CCTV) footage and statements of the witnesses to verify on what really happened," said Gairanod.
He said they are also checking on whether Madrigal is running for a local position, or if the motive was personal grudge or politics.
"Ang importante ani kadtong namusil. Hindi naman siguro kami makoloran nga pulis kasi namaril nga eh. We are trying to be fair to everybody," he added.
In a Facebook post, Mayor Ramirez said that he was beaten by Madrigal.
"Wala lang ko musukol sa diha nga gisegehan ko ug sumbag ni Loy Madrigal nga chief goons ni Martinez para karong election sa Lunes tungod kay ako ray mayor diri dapita nagpaluyo kang DU30 ug kang Winston Garcia ug Cong. Salimbangon, akoy target nila. Mao ni nagkadugo akong mata," he said.
He added in another Facebook post that he left Medellin to meet his lawyer.
"Right now, I cannot disclose my location because they are using the Bogo City Swat team to hunt me down on an alleged hot pursuit operation and even the province has joined in sending police to apprehend me," he said.
Madrigal, for his part, told Sun.Star that he is filing an attempted murder case against Ramirez.
"I am demanding an immediate arrest sa iyahang gibuhat sa akoa. He is dangerous to the public. Nagdadada pa sya og armas nga election gun ban karon," he said in an interview Friday.
"I have my lawyer to look into other charges. He shoot at me directly. Naa koy bun-og sa akong ampapangig sa iyang pagsumbag sa akoa. Akong tuhod nasamad," he added.
Madrigal said that he saw Ramirez around 7 a.m. Friday near a motel in Taytay, Bogo. The mayor, upon seeing him, approached and confronted Madrigal.
He said he tried to record the incident, but he was punched by the mayor in the face, prompting him to punch Ramirez back.
He added that when he tried to leave the place, Ramirez shot him, but failed to hit him.
"Nigawas ko sa akong sakyanan ug nitago sa kasagingan ug gipaabot nga makalakaw ang grupo ni Ramirez," Madrigal said.
Madrigal went to the Bogo Police Station after the incident.
Sun.Star is still trying to contact Ramirez. (Sunnex)