Davao del Sur Police Chief Senior Superintendent Samuel Gandingan said, a rebel who surrendered to the military provided information on the identities of those involved in the ambush.
Authorities will be filing multiple murders and frustrated murder charges against the suspects by March 24.
Meanwhile, Davao Region police chief, Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan refuted the statement of the New People’s Army that there was an encounter on the day of the incident.
He said investigations reveal that no empty shells belonging to the firearms of the police have been recovered in the crime scene, indicating that they were not able to fire their weapons.
Empty shells recovered near the police mobile matched the shells that were recovered from the position of the assailants.
Also, investigation reveals that PO1 Saro Mangotara who was seated at the back of the patrol car survived the 1st round of gunfire since no traces of his blood was found at the back of the vehicle.
Authorities believe that while he was still alive he was made to kneel down before being shot at close range.
“Mas mataas yung tumira sa kaniya, nag exit dito sa kilikili niya. So malaking posibilidad talaga na buhay siya at pinatay lang siya nung pinalinya na sila doon sa malapit sa mga doors ng patrol cars na yun,” PSSupt. Samuel Gadingan said.
(If he was kneeling the gunman would be higher than him. That would explain why the exit wound was found in his armpit. So there really is a big possibility that he was still alive and was shot to death only when they were lined up near the doors of the patrol cars.)
“Narinig ko naghinto yung putukan tapos narinig ko, ‘huwag kayong magpaputok mag clear muna ako sa baba,’tapos after noon nagpaputok sila ulit (When they stopped firing I heard somebody say, ‘don’t shoot I will conduct clearing first’ and after that I again heard gunshots),“ ambush survivor, PO3 Allen Arnado said.
SOCO investigator PO3 Allen Arnado does not have a clear picture of what really happened to his comrades during the incident since he was trying to hide after jumping out of the vehicle.
“I just crawled to save my life. I don’t know what really happened to the others because of the volume of fire. There was a small creek, a canal, it was where I hid,” PO3 Arnaldo recalled.
Aside from Mangotara, SOCO investigator PO3 Jeden Mie Rabor also showed signs of being shot at close range.
“This is plain and simple murder already, napaka (it’s so) inhuman,” said PCSupt. Manuel Gaerlan.
Pursuit operations are underway for perpetrators of the criminal act. – Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue
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