Cagayan police major dies in ambush

Photo courtesy of Cagayan Police Provincial Office

BAGUIO CITY — A high-ranking police officer was killed on the spot after still unidentified gunmen peppered him with bullets at Barangay Libertad, Abulug in Cagayan province on Monday night.

The police official was identified as P/Maj. Rafael Tangonan, a resident of Ballesteros, Cagayan.

A concerned citizen alerted the Abulug Police that a shooting incident happened in front of a hardware and construction supply in Barangay Abulug. After the police arrived, they discovered the victim’s lifeless body inside his vehicle which was riddled with bullets of unknown caliber.

The suspects fled after the shooting incident.

According to the police, witnesses said that the suspects were on board a brown car, where its passengers continuously fired their weapons toward the victim.

Meantime, Philippine National Police chief Police General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on Tuesday ordered a manhunt against the suspects who killed the police officer.

“I trust that Police Regional Office 2, through the Abulug Police Station is now seriously engaged in extensive investigation and follow-up operations to identify and immediately arrest the gunmen who killed Major Rafael Tangonan who was assigned in the Regional Finance Service Office 2. I am reiterating my directive to conduct a thorough manhunt to apprehend the suspect/s,” Azurin said.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family of the slain police officer. We assure the PNP will do everything within its power and authority to serve the ends of justice for Tangonan’s death,” he added.

Based on the police report, the victim was driving his white Toyota Hilux with plate number ACA-228 when two men riding in a brown Toyota Innova suddenly pulled up beside him and opened fire.

Azurin said technology is again on the side of the PNP in this investigation as they develop leads based on digital evidence gathered by CCTV footage that may have captured the movement of the suspects before, during, and after the shooting together with other pieces of hard evidence obtained by forensic investigators.

“While these police actions unfold, the PNP is extending all possible assistance to the family of Major Tangonan including administrative processes required for the immediate release of benefits and other financial claims. This case will not go unsolved, punishment is certain to those responsible of this heinous crime,” said Azurin.

With Glen Jacob Jose and Paula Antolin

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