ORMOC CITY - Two police officers were relieved from office after two civilians were accidentally killed in a failed buy-bust operation in Barangay Tambulilit, Ormoc City in Leyte Tuesday.
According to Ormoc City Police Director Senior Supt. Jose Macanas, Chief Insp. Edgardo Encina and Senior Insp. Harris Rebato led a buy-bust operation to arrest Sem Serrano, an alleged drug dealer in Ormoc City.
Encina was Ormoc City Police Station 3 commander, while Rebato was the deputy station commander.
The two officers posed as buyers and met up with Serrano. The transaction was going smoothly, with Serrano already taking the marked money when he suddenly realized that it was a buy-bust operation.
Serrano immediately ran to a nearby cockpit arena and fired his caliber .45 gun to distract the police.
The police returned fire until Serrano was killed.
After the operation, however, the police discovered that two civilians were killed along with the suspect.
The two victims were identified as Jay Movilla, a dentist, and Wilfredo Alberto, an employee of Ormoc City Municipal Hall.
Aside from the two victims, there were 6 other people wounded in the firefight. There were also other people hurt after a stampede occurred inside the cockpit arena during the operation.
Philippine National Police (PNP) - Region 8 is also investigating the 8 other policemen who were part of the operation. They were asked to surrender their guns for ballistic examination and paraffin test to know who among them accidentally killed or wounded the victims. -- report from Edwin Sevidal, DZMM