4 cops serving arrest warrant die in Kalinga gunfight
BAGUIO CITY — Four policemen were killed in a shootout on Tuesday when they served an arrest warrant issued to a murder suspect and his gang in Lubuagan town in Kalinga province.
Willy Sagasag, the subject of the warrant and leader of a crime group, was killed in the firefight between his men and the police at Barangay Canao in Lubuagan.
Also killed were PO3 Cruzaldo Lawagan, PO2 Jovenal Aguinaldo, PO1 Charles Ryan Compas and PO1 Vincent Paul Tay-od.
Wounded were Senior Insp. Edward Liclic, PO1 Ferdinand Asuncion and PO1 Ferdie Liwag, who were treated at Lubuagan District Hospital.
The policemen were serving the warrant to Sagasag and seven other men that was issued by Judge Milnar Lammawin of the Regional Trial Court Branch 25 in Tabuk City.
Kalinga Gov. Jocel Baac said Sagasag had a P600,000 price on his head for multiple murder, frustrated murder and robbery cases in Kalinga and Cagayan provinces.
Sagasag’s men escaped, according to the Cordillera police.
On Feb. 13, 2014, Sagasag eluded arrest after engaging policemen in a gunfight. The lawmen were arresting him for crimes committed in Tinglayan town, also in Kalinga.
In 1998, Sagasag was convicted for the 1995 killing of village chief Eduardo Wandaga and Magdalena Dacay during a wedding party in Tabuk City.
He was arrested in April 1998 but was able to escape from prison.
Sagasag was rearrested in 2001 and was detained at the Kalinga police office. But his gang members helped Sagasag escape while he was being transferred to a detention facility in Tuguegarao City in Cagayan. Two jail guards and a student were shot and killed during the escape.
Sagasag was arrested again in July 2002 but was able to escape after 10 of his men fired at a jeepney where he and a group of lawmen were riding in. Three people were killed and a policeman was wounded in that attack in Tabuk City. —VILLAMOR VISAYA JR. AND KIMBERLIE QUITASOL
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