INTERIOR Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd ordered a thorough investigation into the deaths of two leaders of the Ozamis crime group in Laguna after they were brought for inquest Monday afternoon to the Cavite Provincial Prosecutors Office.
Roxas said on Tuesday that he immediately ordered the National Police Commission (Napolcom) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to probe the deaths of Ricky Cadavero, alias Kambal, and Wilfredo Panogalinga, alias Kulot, both convicted bank robbers.
”It was reported to me that the sad news happened yesterday while convicts Kambal and Kulot were being transported to Laguna from Cavite. I already ordered the Napolcom and PNP to conduct a thorough investigation regarding the incident and give me the report immediately so that we can sanction those who could be liable,” said Roxas.
Police reports showed that Cadavero and Panogalinga, escorted by six policemen, were being transported to Laguna when motorcycle-riding armed men strafed the police vehicle along the national highway in San Pedro, Laguna. They had just undergone inquest proceedings at the Cavite Provincial Prosecutors Office.
The two criminals reportedly tried to grab the firearms of their police escorts at the height of the strafing, prompting the lawmen to neutralize Cadavero and Panogalinga. The two were rushed to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead.
Cadavero and Panogalinga were two of the four recaptured convicts earlier presented to Roxas and PNP chief Alan Purisima at the PNP headquarters on Monday. The two others suspects were Chinese drug traffickers Li Lan Yan, alias Jackson Dy and Wa Ling Na.
Roxas had earlier ordered the PNP and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to look into the “miraculous” escape of some high-profile criminals, including Cadavero, from state prisons.
The PNP recaptured Cadavero in Dasmarinas City, Cavite, last Friday, seven months after he bolted the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.
According to initial reports submitted by the Cavite PNP, Cadavero and Panogalinga were brought by their police escorts to the Cavite Provincial Police Office from an inquest proceeding on charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives “in view of the hand guns and hand grenade found in their possession during their recapture in Cavite last Friday.”
At about 5:45 p.m. on Monday, the PNP team escorting the two convicts proceeded back to the PNP-Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) office in Calamba City. While in transit near Barangay San Antonio in San Pedro, Laguna, the suspects’ police escorts noticed a motorcycle following their convoy.
The two unidentified suspects on board the motorcycle later strafed the police vehicle, hitting its windshield. At this instance, Cadavero and Panogalinga allegedly grabbed the firearms of two of the six police escorts and a commotion ensued.
“Protecting themselves, the other police escorts inside same vehicle shot Kambal and Kulot,” the Cavite PNP report said.
Since the other PNP vehicle was no longer operational, the escorts loaded the two wounded suspects to the other PNP vehicle and took them to the nearest hospital for treatment. Both were declared dead on arrival.
The Laguna PNP conducted dragnet and pursuit operations against the suspects who were on board the two motorcycles while the San Pedro PNP has summoned SOCO probers to process the crime scene. PNA