FULL honors will be accorded a member of the Cagayan Valley police force who died a hero’s death when he was killed in an encounter with four heavily-armed thieves in Ramon, Isabela last Friday afternoon.
Philippine National Police chief, General Oscar D. Albayalde, ordered the immediate release of all benefits due the family of slain Police Staff Sergeant Richard Gumarang of the Ramon Municipal Police Station.
Police Regional Office 2 director, Brigadier General Jose Mario M. Espino, said he will recommend the posthumous promotion of SSgt. Gumarang who was hit during the first volley of fire from the suspects and died while being taken to a nearby hospital.
Espino said Gumarang was one of the officers who intercepted the thieves who fled to Isabela province after staging a daring heist in Tuguegarao City shortly after noon last Friday. The suspects immediately opened fire after being cornered and hit the cop.
“We have lost a brave policeman in the war against criminality,” said Espino as he visited the wake of the fallen cop and offered his deepest sympathies to the Gumarang family and gave initial financial assistance.
In a report to Gen. Albayalde, the PRO2 director said one of the suspects identified as Cristobal Cristobal alias ‘Cris’ was killed on the spot during the encounter in Barangay Turod Bugallon Norte in Ramon municipality at 4 p.m. Friday, three-and-a-half hours after the suspects staged a robbery at the Cathedral Compound Centro 6 in Tuguegarao City and escaped towards the direction of Isabela province on board a red heavily-tinted Toyota Innova with the improvised plate no. YU 0778.
The official said that members of the Ramon Municipal Police Station led by Captain Abdel Asiz Maximo and the Isabela 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company encountered the heavily-armed suspects.
A second suspect who was earlier identified as Edmar de Castro but later turned out to be one Alden Francis Regundique, a 33-year old resident of P2C3, Lot 1, Kaalinsabay Road in Karangalan, Villa Manggahan, Pasig City was also shot during the encounter and died while undergoing treatment at the Santiago Medical Center, he added.
A third suspect who initially identified himself as ‘Jayson Saringan’ was found to be a resident of Bgy. Baknono in Bayambang, Pangasinan whose real name is Alfred de Vera Solis.
A fourth still unidentified suspect is still being hunted as of press time.
Espino said that his men recovered the suspect’s getaway vehicle with the attached temporary plate no. YU 0778 but with the Land Transportation Office Conduction Sticker YV 6688. Found inside the wagon were one M-16 Armalite rifle with serial no. 973985, a caliber .45 Colt Mark IV semi-automatic pistol with serial no. 953724, different identification cards and three mobile phones.
Police also impounded a red Honda TMX motorcycle without plate number belonging to the suspects who apparently thought that their target was carrying a huge amount of money.
Espino joined the Isabela Police Provincial Office headed by Colonel Mariano C. Rodriguez in mourning the death of SSgt. Gumarang who was described as a good family man and a cop who performed outstanding service to the public.
The arrested suspect is now undergoing questioning at the Ramon Municipal Police Station. Criminal charges for robbery-holdup, violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013, assault upon an agent of a person in authority and murder will be filed against him and the escaped suspect.