ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/05 July) – A policeman and a witness in a kidnapping case were killed while another witness was wounded in a shooting incident today in this city, a police official said.
City police director Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo said the incident took place around 7:50am at the safehouse of the Department of Justice.
He identified the slain policeman as PO1 Tomas Dauba, who provided security to Marvin Agullana, who was placed under the DOJ’s Witness Protection Program.
Wounded was Mark Ausley, who is also under the Witness Protection Program, De Ocampo said.
They were allegedly shot by PO3 Carmelito Macansantos, another policeman tasked to secure witnesses under the same program, the police director said.
De Ocampo said initial investigation disclosed that the victims were about to leave the safehouse to attend a court hearing when Macansantos arrived and “uttered bad words which prompted Dauba to react.”
He said Macansantos, upon hearing Dauba’s reaction, drew his gun and opened fire at his colleague and the two witnesses.
Dauba died on the spot. Agullana and Ausley were taken to the hospital but the former died while undergoing treatment, De Ocampo said.
Macansantos fled and is now the object of a manhunt operation, he added.
Agulla and Ausley were witnesses in the kidnapping of businessman Eliseo Hablo, on January 8, 2009.
Local police rescued Hablo on February 10, 2009 from an alleged kidnappers’ hideout in Barangay San Roque.
After Hablo’s rescue, the police arrested eight suspects, including two policemen and a lawyer who is the alleged mastermind.
Tuesday’s hearing had been postponed, De Ocampo said.
The police official said he requested the National Bureau of Investigation to handle the investigation of the incident because it involved two policemen under his command. (MindaNews)