CAGAYAN Valley policemen on Friday afternoon clashed with four fleeing heavily-armed robbers who staged a daring heist in Tuguegarao City until they were intercepted in Ramon, Isabela where a gunbattle left one policeman and two suspects dead, Police Regional Office 2 director, Brigadier General Jose Mario M. Espino said yesterday.
In a report to Philippine National Police chief, General Oscar D. Albayalde, the official said Staff Sergeant Richard Gumarang of the Ramon Municipal Police Station was hit in the suspects’ first volley of fire and died while being taken to a nearby hospital.
“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 some initial financial assistance. A hero’s burial will be accorded on SSgt. Gumarang, he said.
Espino 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 Isabela province on board a red heavily-tinted red 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 2nd 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 3rd 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 4th still unidentified suspect is still being hunted as of press time.
Espino said 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.
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.