By Erika Sauler
A POLICE precinct commander and a robbery suspect were killed in an encounter inside a convenience store in Barangay Sto. Niño, Parañaque City, past midnight on Sunday.
But the case took another twist several hours later, when a second suspect who managed to escape from the store was arrested—and then shot and killed by a mystery gunman while in police custody, according to the Southern Police District.
The local police identified the fatalities as Chief Insp. Nelson Pagaduan, commander of the Parañaque police Solaire precinct; and Freddie Palacay from Pasig City.
Palacay’s alleged cohort, Danny Gomez, was arrested in a follow-up operation but the SPD said he was shot by a still-unidentified assailant on Sunday afternoon while being escorted for a medical checkup.
Setting up checkpoint
The Parañaque police chief, Senior Supt. Jose Carumba, said Pagaduan went to the 7-Eleven store on Pascor Drive to buy water after his team had set up a checkpoint nearby.
The checkpoint was in line with the full-alert status declared in Metro Manila following Friday night’s bombing of a night market in Davao City.
As the officer entered the store, security guard Lino Oliva Valenzuela alerted him about the two suspicious-looking men inside. The officer then approached one of the suspects, later identified as Palacay, and noticed the gun tucked in the man’s waist.
Palacay’s companion, Gomez, then fired at Pagaduan, hitting him in the neck.
Seeing that Palacay was also about to shoot the policeman, the security guard shot Palacay and killed him, Carumba said.
Fate of second suspect
Pagaduan was brought to Ospital ng Parañaque and later transferred to Premier Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Police recovered a .38-cal. revolver and two sachets of suspected “shabu” from the slain Palacay.
Gomez managed to escape, but Carumba said he was later arrested in a follow-up operation.
In an update last night, SPD spokesperson Supt. Jenny Tecson said Gomez was shot while being escorted by policemen for a medical checkup around 5:30 p.m.
Gomez was shot twice in the head by a gunman in front of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, near Ospital ng Parañaque, Tecson said, quoting an incident report.
She said the police escorts traded shots with Gomez’s shooter but the latter drove off on a motorbike with another man.
Gomez, who used the alias Jowel Aderes, succumbed to his gunshots at the hospital at 7:12 p.m., Carumba said.
Arrangements are being made with City Mayor Edwin Olivarez to honor both the guard and the slain policeman, the police chief said.