Home News Cordillera 4 Kalinga cops killed in firefight with criminal group

4 Kalinga cops killed in firefight with criminal group

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Four police officers in Kalinga province were killed in a shootout with the notorious group of one of the country’s most wanted persons on Tuesday morning, February 21.

In a phone interview, Police Chief Inspector Carolina Lacuata, information office of the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Cordillera regional unit, said Willy Sagasag, the subject of arrest, was also killed in the encounter.

Lacuata identified the victims as PO3 Cruzaldo Lawagan, PO2 Juvenal Aguinaldo, and PO1s Vincent Tay-od and Charles Ryan Compas.

In released report, Police Chief Superintendent Elmo Sarona, regional chief of the PNP-Cordillera, said the policemen were killed while serving the warrant of arrest of Sagasag in Canao village in Lubuagan town.

Sagasag, according to Sarona, is a top most wanted person in the national level for various “heinous” crimes he committed over the past decades.

Sarona said operatives of the Kalinga provincial police and Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) reportedly cornered Sagasag but were “met by volley of fire from Sagasag’s group who were positioned in different directions.”

Three policemen were also injured in the firefight.

Sarona said an undetermined number of Sagasa’s group were wounded but managed to escape.

Crime investigators recovered 36 pieces of 5.56 mm cartridge cases in the crime scene while one M16, 1 black rig, one long plastic magazine, 3 short and 3 long metal magazines, and 127 rounds of live ammunition for M16 were recovered from Sagasag.

Sagasag, an alleged leader of an organized criminal group in the Cordillera region, was faxing murder, frustrated murder, frustrated homicide and robbery charges. He has a P600,000 bounty on his head.

“[Sagasag] was also a subject of several police operations which did not succeed until this incident,” Sarona said.

He was first charged with murder in leading the killing of village chairman Eduardo Wandaga and Magdalena Dacay in Tabuk City in 1995.

He was arrested in 1998 for the said charges, but he was able to escape prison.

In 2001, Sagasag was again arrested and was detained in Kalinga Police Provincial Jail.

He, however, was “rescued” by his group while he’s being transported from Kalinga to Tuguegarao City, Cagayan via jeepney. As a result, 2 jail guards and a student were killed. – Northernforum.net 

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