PNP, military investigate Labuan shootout: 2 cops, 1 marine dead PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 August 2015 13:29

by Dan Toribio  Jr.

 

Police and military are conducting parallel investigations on a shootout that left two policemen and one marine soldier dead in Barangay LabuanTuesday night

A civilian was wounded in the shootout.

Sr. Supt. Angelito Casimiro, Zamboanga City police director, told reporters Wednesday that policemen of the Regional Public Safety Battalion-9 and soldiers of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-9 (MBLT-9) engaged in a shootout around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday  in Labuan, some 36 kilometers from downtown Zamboanga over still unconfirmed cause.

Casimiro said ininvestigations are being conducted by the military’s Joint Task Force Zambasulta and the City Police Office’s Special Investigation Unit.

The police director would not divulge the circumstances behind the shootout, but a military source said it was the policemen who first opened fire on the marines killing one. The marines returned fire killing two of policemen.

Both the RPSB-9 policemen and MBLT-9 soldiers are deployed in Labuan working together to secure the village from kidnappers. Last year, three people—two teachers and a businesswoman—were kidnapped in separate incidents in Labuan.

The military source said the marines had complained to RPSB-9 officials  about their police counterpart’s alleged laxity in job whenever they go on joint patrol, which may have prompted the angry policemen to confront the marines, during which a shootout broke out.

Killed in the shootout were PO3 Alkashmir Lipae and PO1 Muhsin Jainul of RPSB-9 and Cpl. Jason Marqueses of the MBLT-9.

Wounded was Herminio Ardo, a balut (fertilized duck egg) vendor. He was hit in the crossfire.

Marqueses was rushed to the Labuan District Hospital by his comrades who reportedly took over the hospital and switched off the lights thereat. They positioned snipers on all parts of the hospital building while the main gate was temporarily closed.

Tension gripped the entire Labuan proper for two hours as if the baranggay was a war zone because of the presence of police and military who were on full battle gear.

The incident happened as the entire west coast area was experiencing power outage.

Police and military officials and Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar arrived in the area and met with the barangay officials headed by Chairman Ronald Maravilla.

Army Col. Andrelino Colina, Task Force Zamboanga commander, told reporters that initial information he gathered that the marines and policemen of the Police Station 10 were on patrol when allegedly the two RPSB-9 policemen confronted the marines at the Labuan flea market, during which a shootout broke out.

Police Regional Director-9 Chief Supt. Miguel Antonio has ordered the pull out of the RPSB-9 policemen to defuse the tension in Labuan.

Casimiro said the RPSB-9 policemen have been replaced by the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) personnel under the Zamboanga City Public Safety Company

Zamboanga City’s security setup was tightened after the September 13 , 2013 siege by a faction of the Moro National Liberation (MNLF) that left more than 300 policemen, soldiers and civilians dead and caused the displacement of thousands of residents from six villages.

Under the setup, marines and Army troops as well as Philippine Air Force foot soldiers and Navy personnel help the police secure the city 98 villages including its coasts and waters. – Dan Toribio Jr.