Two individuals were gunned down yesterday during a shootout between suspected robbers and law enforcement officials in Dingle’s Barangay Tabugon. Authorities identified one of the suspects, Joan Lego of Lambunao’s Barangay Bagongbong, as one of the fatalities; however, the other fatality was described as a man wearing a black shirt and shorts but was without any form of identification.
Dingle Police Station commander, Police Captain Fernando Punzalan, said Lego was accompanied by two alleged accomplices, identified as Rowen Lebuna and Jefftrey Vicente, when they reportedly robbed two women in Dingle’s Barangays Camambugan and Tabugon.
Prior to the incident, the three allegedly robbed 51-year-old Gilda dela Cruz in the town’s Barangay Camambugan, a resident of Poblacion in the town’s Barangay Camambugan; along with 59-year-old Lina Mugas of Barangay Caguyuman, located in the said locality, in Barangay Tabugon.
The two sought police assistance and, once the suspects were tracked down, one of the suspects opened fire, sparking a shootout between the two parties.
“They shot our policemen who were securing the exit point and one of the suspects was hit on his head when our police retaliated,” said Punzalan. “We tried to chase the two remaining suspects but they quickly escaped.”
Recovered from the crime scene were a 12-gauge shotgun with one empty shell owned by the suspect, a brown wallet, and black wristwatch.
Punzalan also noted, even before the two reported robberies, the three are suspected of committing crimes in Passi City and San Enrique, Iloilo.
“They are [an] organized robbery group with at least six members and are operating province-wide,” he explained. “The three suspects have pending robbery and theft cases.”
A manhunt against the two wanted suspects remains ongoing.
Meanwhile, police spoke with Wendelyn Lego, who denied the deceased suspect was her son. She claimed to have no communication with her son./WDJ