Manhunt on vs. suspects in ambush of off-duty cop

General

Police have launched a manhunt against two riding-in-tandem gunmen who ambushed and seriously injured an off-duty police officer in the North Cotabato town of Pikit.

“We have persons of interest in this case, and we’re continuing our investigation,” Maj. Maxim Peralta, Pikit town police chief, said in a phone interview Thursday.

Peralta identified the victim as Pat. Santhy Ben Marcelo Buagas, 25, of Alamada, North Cotabato.

Buagas was alone and in civilian clothes on board his motorcycle when two men on a motorbike opened fire along the national highway in Barangay Batulawan, Pikit at about 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Responding police officers rushed Buagas to the Pikit hospital and later transferred him to Kidapawan City.

The off-duty police officer belongs to the 3rd Regional Mobile Force Battalion of the Police Regional Office–Soccsksargen (PRO-12).

It was unclear if Buagas was armed with his service firearm at the time of the incident.

Crime scene investigators found empty shells of .45 caliber pistol at the site of the ambush.

In a statement, Brig. Gen. Alexander Tagum, police regional director for the Soccsksargen Region, condemned the attack against Buagas.

Tagum said the police officer was “shot treacherously” while driving to report for his afternoon duty.

“We are praying for the fast recovery of Patrolman Buagas. This blatant act of violence will be resolved and the perpetrators will be held accountable by the law,” Tagum said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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