Muntinlupa shooting twist: ‘Gunmen’s target’ ends up being charged
From being the supposed target, Romil Cuambot turned into the suspect after the police charged him on Tuesday over the death of a former Muntinlupa City policeman and the wounds sustained by his companion.
PO2 Pedro Delgado died on the spot while Danilo Alcaraz was taken to the hospital for treatment allegedly after a shootout with Cuambot near Soldiers Hill Subdivision in Muntinlupa on Sunday afternoon.
According to Cuambot, he was driving his car when Delgado and Alcaraz tailed him on a motorcycle and fired at him, prompting him to shoot back. Cuambot said he survived a similar attempt on his life by motorcycle-riding gunmen in 2016.
Video casts doubt
But the police started doubting Cuambot’s story when a security camera footage showed the motorcycle overtaking his car and then falling over after a few meters.
By that time, Delgado had been shot in the leg and Alcaraz had sustained a bullet wound in the arm. Alcaraz was seen drawing a gun but he ran away, apparently without firing a shot.
A man in a dark shirt carrying a gun was then seen running toward the fallen Delgado. The man, later identified as Nonoy, an employee of Cuambot’s, shot Delgado in the neck.
“Cuambot’s tamang hinala (suspicion) turned out to be a maling akala (wrong assumption) since there were no guns-for-hire here,” said Chief Insp. Gideon Ines, Muntinlupa police investigation section chief. “All of them just happened to be there at the same time, based on our investigation.”
The police said it appeared that only Cuambot fired shots, as they found eight bullet holes on his car, all indicating an outward trajectory.
On the other hand, the .45-caliber pistols seized from Delgado and Alcaraz had not been fired, based on the number of bullets found in the magazines, Ines said.
Nonoy, whom Cuambot had just dropped off minutes before the shooting, remained at large.
According to Ines, Cuambot said he fired at the two men because he feared for his life. The police, however, charged him with murder and frustrated murder on Tuesday in the Muntinlupa city prosecutor’s office.
Awol since May
Delgado was assigned in Muntinlupa before he went Awol (absent without leave) in May, more than a year after he was transferred to Mindanao in February 2017.
He was facing multiple criminal cases, including car theft and illegal possession and discharge of firearms. He was also included in the Muntinlupa City police’s drug watch list.
As a Muntinlupa policeman, he received several citations, including one for single-handedly stopping a robbery.
The police said Alcaraz would be detained upon being discharged from the hospital after it was discovered that his pistol was not licensed. —WITH REPORTS FROM ROSELIE MARI VILLAFLOR AND KRISTEL LIMPOT
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