Kidapawan City Council puts on hold proposals to commend wounded SWAT team member

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 03 February) — The legislative council here has put on hold proposals to give a wounded member of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team commendation for his valor and heroism.

Kidapawan City councilor Jivy Roe Bombeo, author of the resolutions, said the council has yet to dig deeper into the incident that involved Police Officer 3 Erick John Yamuta, SWAT member who was critically wounded after he engaged in a shootout with a group of armed men on January 27.

The proposals were referred to Councilor Francis Palmones, chair of the Committee on Peace and Order; and Councilor Ruby Padilla-Sison, chair of the Committee on Human Rights of the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Kidapawan.

Bombeo, in an interview over radio station DXND here, said the council is set to invite to a question hour city police director, Chief Inspector Ramel Hojilla, to shed light on the issue.

Initially, Bombeo said he was shown footages of the close-circuit television (CCTV) that captured the shooting incident.

Based on the CCTV footages, Yamuta, who at that time was doing a security check along the highway, responded to the shooting incident that transpired at a commercial district here and engaged a group of gunmen in a shootout.

The police identified these gunmen as Sugar Rey Dimaano, David Adolfo, and Mario Pagaduan dela Cruz.

Dimaano, police records showed, was a drug surrenderer.

Investigators also considered illegal drugs trade as one of the motives for the shooting.

Bombeo urged the local government to shoulder the hospital bills of Yamuta who is still fighting for his life at a private hospital in Davao City.

Bombeo said granting financial help to Yamuta could, at least, ease the burden of his family, particularly on the hospital bills.

Initially, Mayor Joseph Evangelista paid Yamuta’s hospital bills at the Kidapawan Doctors Hospital, Inc. (KDHI) after he was rushed there due to gunshot wounds on his head.

But Yamuta was transferred to the Davao Doctors Hospital in Davao City for further treatment, according to the city councilor.

Relatives told Bombeo that Yamuta’s vital signs have stabilized. (Malu Cadelina-Manar / MindaNews)