Police, hired guns clash in Cebu

January 29, 2019

LAWMEN and suspected members of a gun-for-hire group involved in a daring gun attack that killed the husband of a local town mayor and two others last January 22 yesterday clashed in Cebu province.

A Police Regional Office 7 report said that the policemen led by Chief Insp. Christopher Natnat were about to serve a search warrant for illegal possession of firearms and drugs against the suspects led by Jerome Labitad in Sitio Crossing, Bgy. Kampo 4 in Talisay City when the gunfight broke out at 9:30 a.m. yesterday.

PRO7 director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas said that the officers were met with heavy resistance from the suspects who were armed with automatic firearms.

Labitad and two unidentified cohorts escaped during the gunbatttle leaving behind their firearms.

Sinas said that the recovered weapons will be subjected to a ballistics examination to determine if they were among those used in the ambush that wounded San Fernando Mayor Lakambini Reluya and two others.

The mayor’s 52-year-old husband, Ricardo Reluya Jr., the president of the San Fernando Association of Barangay Captains, and security aides Ricky Monterona, 46; and Allan Bayot, 52, were killed in the gun attack in Bgy. Linao in Talisay City.

The 53-year-old mayor and two other victims, Giovani Perez, 48; and Jeefer Tolentin, 41; were  wounded in the attack

Sinas said that the mayor named two most probable suspects in the deadly ambush: her political rival Ruben Feliciano and Niel Enriquez.

Mayor Reluya said Feliciano has been threatening them on his Facebook accounts and in his interviews with local newspaper and radio reporters.

The mayor said Feliciano is the owner of a construction firm building the San Fernando Port, which is the subject of a dispute between her political rival and the municipal hall. Reluya said the project started without any municipal building permit.