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Fatal gathering


IP family quarrel quickly turns deadly as two cops killed and two more hurt


TWO POLICEMEN were killed while one cop and a mobile patrol civilian driver were wounded, all from Calinan Police Station, when they were hacked and shot after responding to a family squabble in Purok 4, Barangay Lacson, around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26.

Meanwhile, an IP member was killed, and another was arrested in a hot pursuit operation conducted by the Calinan police in the afternoon.

The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) on Thursday clarified earlier social media posts that the incident was a pangayao or tribal war. 

City police director Col Alberto Lupaz identified the slain policemen as Chief Master Sergeant Tito Didal Lague and Corporal Mark Anthony Elman Corsino.

The two wounded were identified as Cpl Ken Leo Diango Gumanoy and Donald Ombrete, the mobile patrol driver. 

In a press conference held on Thursday at the DCPO headquarters mayor’s hall, DCPO chief Col Alberto Lupaz narrated that the squabble was between relatives who gathered on the morning of the incident to celebrate the birthday of the Bai, or the religious leader, on July 27. 

The celebration started well enough until a commotion erupted in the afternoon when Benao Landas arrived. Apparently, the suspect was envious of his sister-in-law Bai’s status as the tribe’s religious leader. 

The commotion threatened to spiral into violence, prompting the barangay captain, who was also present at the scene, to call the police. 

The Calinan Police Station, some four kilometers away, dispatched Mobile Patrol J51 with Corsino, Ombrete, and a police auxiliary identified as Richard Mendoza. They immediately saw the suspect still holding his machete, so they talked to his father, Angelito Maanib Landas, who reprimanded Benao and told him to surrender the weapon. 

Corsino called for reinforcements, and the police station dispatched Mobile 97.

Meanwhile, Corsino warned Benao, who was then ignoring his father’s pleas and approaching them threateningly. As he attempted to hack Corsino, the policeman fired multiple shots to stop him. Witnesses claimed they saw smoke from the suspect’s body from the bullets fired from the cop’s gun. 

Benao hacked Corsino’s left wrist and right cheek. Mendoza escaped when the killer turned his attention to him.

Wala dayon na neutralize pag igo (he wasn’t immediately neutralized). He was just only given first a warning shot in the ground, but he decided to hack the police,” Lupaz said.

When Corsino slumped to the ground, the suspect then chased and hacked Ombrete on the head. 

Meanwhile, another suspect, former Cafgu Rico Masacay, took the issued firearm of Corsino and emptied the gun on the cop’s dead body. 

The Mobile Patrol 97 arrived with Lague and Gumanoy on board and saw the two dead victims on the ground. They saw Benao holding a short firearm and a machete and Masacay carrying a long firearm and a machete. 

The two perpetrators then fired at the police officers, who then hid and fired back.  

Masacay and Benao spread out, with the latter escaping toward the grassy portion with Lague and Gumanoy on the chase.

They chased him down, and Lague shot Benao and grappled with his machete. However, the suspect managed to wound the police officer before the perpetrator died from multiple bullet wounds. 

The two police officers, however, did not notice Masacay circling around to ambush them. The perpetrator then hacked Lague on the head from behind, causing his immediate death. Masacay escaped but was arrested during a hot pursuit operation. 

Lupaz said they learned that Benao and Masacay’s group were doing “rituals,” but it could also be drugs, which the police could not confirm.

“But when police arrived in the area, the witnesses said the suspect was already violent, and they described him with bloodshot eyes, ” he said.

Lupaz also said he watched the video of the armed confrontation but could not explain how Benao remained standing. “Normally, if you are shot, one shot, you will already fall to the ground, but a lot of empty shells in the first crime scene were seen from a long firearm,” he said.

Elements of the Calinan Police Station, led by Major Ricky Obenza, together with the 1105th Mobile Company led by Capt Kevin Pamaos, 1st City Mobile Force Company (CMFC), Lt Col Noel Asumen, 2nd City Mobile Force Company (CMFC) led by Lt Col Randy Sambalod, Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) PMAJ Baguio and Philippine ARMY led by Major Benedict Corpuz, and Task Force Davao, led by Lt Col Allan Tesoro, conducted a joint hot pursuit operation.

They arrested Rico Masacay, 25, a resident of Sitio Malikongkong, Barangay Gunitan, Marilog District.

Meanwhile, Lague was rushed by Mobile 97, manned by Pat Abdul Karim Bocoy Loho, to Isaac T. Robillo Memorial Hospital in Calinan. But he was declared dead on arrival. 

Also, Gumanoy was brought to Camp Quintin S. Merecido Hospital, while Ombrete was brought to Southern Philippines Medical Center for medical treatment. 

On the other hand, Corsino and Benao’s remains were brought to Angel Funeral Parlor.

Confiscated from Masacay were the K2CI riffle with serial number P001513 with one magazine loaded with 13 live ammos, Galil Ace with serial number 48170072 with one magazine inserted with four live ammos and two machetes.

He is now in the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Management Unit detention facility. 

Also recovered from their church were a shotgun and other bladed weapons.


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