A POLICE officer from Cebu, who was transferred to the Police Regional Office (PRO) Cordillera in 2016, survived an ambush at Marbeach in Barangay Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City on Sunday morning, Aug. 30, 2020.
However, Capt. Percival Miasco, chief of the Marigondon Police Station, was surprised that not one of the more than 30 bullets from different high-powered firearms fired at SMSgt. Artemio Tumakay III found its target.
Based on their investigation, Tumakay was on the street around 9 a.m. when a white Toyota Tamaraw pulled up. Four armed men alighted and started shooting at him.
Tumakay was able to fire back, forcing the culprits, who were dressed in T-shirts and shorts and wore masks, to retreat to their vehicle and leave the scene.
Miasco, in an interview with Superbalita Cebu, said the still unidentified gunmen used a .45 pistol, a 9mm pistol and an M-16 Armalite rifle in the attack.
“Tumakay did not have a single scratch on him. I don’t know how that happened. According to witnesses, his ambushers fired at him several times, but they were unable to hit him,” Miasco said in Cebuano.
Two bystanders were injured after they were hit by stray bullets.
They were identified as Ranel Caballes, a tricycle driver who was playing dama or checkers, and his neighbor Lucrecia Jumao-as.
Cabellas was hit in the leg, while Jumao-as was hit in the wrist. Both have been declared out of danger.
When police arrived at the scene, the culprits and their intended victim were nowhere to be found.
Miasco said they went to Tumakay’s house in the barangay but he was not home. His family would not reveal his whereabouts.
Three hours later, Miasco said Tumakay called him to report the incident, but the latter did not provide details.
Miasco said he does not know if there were threats to Tumakay’s life. He has advised Tumakay to go to the police station. He said he got to know Tumakay when the latter reported to him at the station when he couldn’t leave because of the lockdown.
Even though Tumakay is currently assigned at the PRO Cordillera, he lives in the barangay which is under Miasco’s jurisdiction. Tumakay was able to return to Luzon when the city’s enhanced community quarantine status was lifted.
Miasco said they remain in the dark regarding the ambush until they talk with Tumakay.
Tumakay was one of 47 police non-commissioned officers who were given new assignments in far-flung areas with volatile peace and order on Aug. 18, 2016.
Former PRO 7 director Noli Taliño said the reassignment was part of their “internal cleansing.” Their superiors might have received negative reports against them, he said.
Tumakay was assigned at the Provincial Intelligence Branch of the Cebu Provincial Police Office. He was then moved to the Cebu City Police Office and assigned at the Carbon Police Station before his transfer to the Cordillera.
Miasco said he was aware that Tumakay had been subject of the PRO 7’s internal cleansing. (REV / PJB)