By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
At least six people, including two police officers, were wounded after a shootout erupted after they attempted to serve an arrest warrant yesterday morning at Sitio Matab-ang, Barangay Masaling in Cauayan, Negros Occidental.
Police identified the wounded officers as Police Officers 3 (PO3) Reynaldo Bodien and Rolando Prieto, both members of the Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC).
Also wounded were 31-year-old Cris Jun Taquiso, 29-year-old Rayming Melocoto, 35-year-old Romy Taquiso, and 50-year-old Lucino Demol, Sr.
Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) spokesperson, Police Inspector Charmae De Paz, said operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Region 6 (CIDG-6) and PMFC attempted to serve the arrest warrants against Rodel Taquiso and Salem Teodulo, both wanted on the national level.
De Paz said the suspects are members of the Galendez gun-for-hire group and were operating in the area.
The spokesperson explained, the suspects opened fire as operatives were approaching the compound they were hiding in, prompting police to return fire.
During the initial gun battle, Bodien sustained wounds to the mouth, while Prieto was shot in leg.
The cops later managed to gain control of the compound and successfully apprehended everyone inside, including the two wanted individuals.
A search of the area yielded three shotguns, a .38 caliber revolver, a .45 caliber pistol, a fragmentation grenade, and numerous units of ammunition for different caliber firearms.
The wounded were rushed to the Holy Mother of Mercy Hospital in Kabankalan City.
The suspects are now under CIDG-Negros Occidental custody./DGB, WDJ