By Aie Balagtas
MANILA, Philippines – A police officer responding alone to a commotion in a Muntinlupa slum was gunned down at past midnight yesterday.
Police Officer 2 Richard Santos, 42, was shot in the neck, stomach, and shoulder allegedly by Norberto Pote, 38. He was declared dead at the Ospital ng Muntinlupa at past 1 a.m.
According to Chief Inspector Giovanni Martinez, head of the city police intelligence unit, Santos was driving a motorcycle through the East Service Road along Barangay Cupang at about 12:45 a.m. when he was called by barangay watchman rushing out of the Batiquin compound.
The watchman knows Santos as a policeman and asked him to stop a drunk Pote from brandishing his gun before his neighbors.
“Pote at that time had just shot his drinking buddy and neighbor Manuel Caillo in the leg,” Martinez said, adding it was not yet established why the two fought.
Santos accompanied the watchman and tried to talk to the suspect, who refused to back down and shot the policeman instead.
Martinez said Santos wanted to shoot back but couldn’t because Pote was holding his teenage daughter.
Pote reportedly grabbed his daughter after they tried to arrest him for shooting Caillo, 50. Martinez clarified that Pote did not hold her hostage.
Pote ran home after shooting Santos, where he was later arrested. He will be charged with murder for Santos’ death, and frustrated murder for shooting Caillo.
Martinez, the victim’s immediate superior, described Santos as “hardworking.” Santos’s remains will be laid in a chapel near his parents’ house in Las Piñas City, Martinez said.