By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The two suspected robbers killed during a recent shootout with police in Bacolod City’s Barangay Sum-ag have been identified.
During a radio interview over the weekend, Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) director, Police Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo, named Armelle Espadon and Ryan Alib, both 30 years old and residents of Sitio Antawan in Barangay Canlandog, Murcia, Negros Occidental, as the suspects.
Ebreo said the suspects are members of the Agustin Criminal Gang, which operates in the neighboring areas of the Negros Occidental third and fourth congressional districts.
The BCPO director also confirmed Bago City police detained the panel van driver, identified as 38-year-old Ruben Cuelo, after investigators discovered he worked with the suspects during a robbery in the city’s Barangay Taloc.
Cuelo admitted to the allegations after being interrogated at BCPO Police Station 9 and was transferred to Bago City Police Station, where he faces robbery charges.
Police also clarified, there were four victims caught in the crossfire, one of whom later passed away while receiving treatment at South Bacolod General Hospital.
They identified the civilian who died as 70-year-old pedicab operator Delfin Ortiz, who was hit in the stomach, while the wounded were identified as Mikaela Malabor, Estrella Claridad, and Walter Dojena.
Malabor is the daughter of Isabela Mayor Joselito Malabor.
Meanwhile, Ebreo said the Regional Internal Affairs Service-6 would conduct its own investigation into the shootout.
BCPO has also recalled all weapons used by police during the gun battle for ballistic examination./DGB, WDJ