A POLICE officer cheated death but killed one of two motorcycle-riding gunmen who shot at him in Bukidnon Thursday evening.
A police report said Cpl. Johnny Padillo, an intelligence officer assigned at Kadingilan police station, was on his way back to the office when two armed on board a motorcycle fired at him an unlit area of Purok 6B, Barangay Poblacion of said town at around 7:10 pm.
To avoid being hit by the assailants, Padillo slid his motorcycle on the side of the road and fired back at them, the report said.
One of the alleged gunmen was hit several times and was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician at the Bukidnon Provincial Hospital in Kibawe town moments after the shooting.
Authorities later identified the alleged hitman as John Mark Gonzales, 20, single, jobless, and a resident of Purok 1, Barangay Kiara, Don Carlos town in Bukidnon.
Police said Gonzales sustained five gunshot wounds on different parts of his body.
Responding officers recovered from the deceased’s possession a pouch containing a plastic sachet with suspected “shabu” or crystal meth inside, a .45 caliber pistol with three bullets.
Cpl. Glicerio Hallasgo said Friday Padillo came from Barangay Baroy to conduct follow-up investigation on some cases he was working on and was on his way to the Kadingilan police station when the shooting happened.
Hallasgo said they are looking at two possibilities on why Padillo was waylaid.
He said that due to Padillo’s job as an intelligence officer some persons may have been holding grudges against him, but Hallasgo noted the ambushed policeman is not familiar with Gonzales.
“Padillo told us he has not seen Gonzales before. He did not have grudges with him,” Hallasgo said.
It was also likely that the gunmen were trying to steal Padillo’s motorcycle, he added.
“They (suspects) have been tailing Padillo, and only fired at him when he reached a secluded area. They may have the intention to take away his motorcycle,” Hallasgo said.
Hallasgo said they are still verifying if Gonzales was a member of a group involved in criminal activities, although they received information that the killed suspect had just returned to Kadingilan recently after being away for a few months. (Jigger Jerusalem)