Wanted man, 2 others killed in Bukidnon gunfight

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A wanted man and two others were killed and a policeman was wounded in an encounter during the serving of a warrant of arrest in Purok 22, Barangay Butong, Quezon, Bukidnon Sunday, Aug. 21.

A POLICE forensics team processes the suspects’ house. (Police photo)

Police Major Noel Cano, Quezon police chief, identified Monday, Aug. 22, the fatalities as Joseph Pateres, also known as “Dodong Gonzaga Tatao,” 39, of Purok 22, Barangay Butong, and the subject of the warrant; Marissa Libringka, the live-in partner of Peteres, and a certain Jun Plaza.

Cano said Pateres and Libringka fired at operating police personnel attempting to enter their residence to serve the warrant of arrest against Pateres for attempted murder issued by acting Presiding Judge Carmel Grado of Branch 4, 11th Judicial Region, Panabo City dated May 6, 2019.

Police Master Sgt. Arnie Diel of the Bukidnon Provincial Special Operations Unit, who knocked on the door of the suspects’ house, sustained a bullet wound in his left arm.

Lawmen returned fire, resulting in a 20-minute gunfight in which the suspects were killed.

Cano said they received information from their assets that Pateres and Plaza were alleged members of the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) of the New People’s Army (NPA). However, this is still under investigation in coordination with the Philippine Army.

He confirmed that Pateres had been involved in illegal drugs and a gun-for-hire group.

Pateres and Plaza were involved in seven shooting incidents that occurred in Quezon a couple of weeks after the May 2022 elections.

Police are still investigating the involvement of Libringka.

“Pero ang among na-confirm kay opat lang gyud nga siya nag-initiate kini si Joseph Pateres ug Jun Plaza sa opat ka shooting incidents. Pero kining sa tulo, naa gihapon silay involvement kay nakita man sila during the time nga naay shooting incident,” Cano said.

(But what we have confirmed is only four (shooting incidents out of seven) where Joseph Pateres and Jun Plaza had initiated. For the three (shooting incidents), they also had involvement since they were seen during the time where there was a shooting incident)

Police recovered from Pateres one caliber .45 firearm, one hand grenade, and one medium sachet containing alleged shabu with estimated weight of one gram and street value of P6,800.

A caliber .38 revolver was been recovered from Libringka and Plaza.

Suspects were taken to the Quezon Infirmary Hospital. However, they were declared dead on arrival by Dr. Krystal Jane Heyasa, attending physician.

The wounded police officer is in stable condition. He was taken to the Malaybalay Polymedic Hospital.