CAMILING, Tarlac: Three members of the La Union provincial police were seriously wounded during a shootout last Monday with the leader of a gun-for-hire syndicate whom they were about to arrest.
Senior Supt. Westrimundo Obinque, police provincial director, identified the victims as Chief Insp. Bernard Pagaduan, chief of the provincial intelligence unit; Senior Insp. Juan Jhay Maggay, Tubao town chief of police; and Police Officer 2 Ryan Ponce, a member of the La Union Police Anti-Illegal Drug Group.
Obinique told The Manila Times that at about 9:30 a.m. on January 2, the group of Pagaduan and Maggay went to serve the warrant of arrest against Enrico Gil Magarde in his rented house at Barangay Cacamilingan Norte in Camiling town.
Upon arrival at the suspect’s house, however, Magarde opened fire at the police officers, who fired back, hitting Magarde in the stomach and left hand and killing him instantly.
Pagaduan was hit in his right leg while Ponce was hit in the neck during the shootout that lasted five minutes.
Senior Police Officer 1 Marshal Espiritu, chief investigator of Camiling Police Station, recovered a caliber 45 pistol with magazines and shabu from Magarde.
Pagaduan and Ponce are still confined at the Santo Nino Hospital in Camiling while Maggay, who was seriously wounded, is confined at the Jecson Hospital in Tarlac City.
Pagaduan said Magarde is listed as the No. 5 drug pusher in La Union province and No. 1 in Tubao town.
He is reportedly the leader of Ikong Gang, a gun-for-hire group whose members serve as bodyguards and alleged hitmen of some local politicians in the province.