Two fishermen who were suspected of fishing illegally landed in the hospital while a police officer is being investigated following an alleged shootout in waters between Bien Unido and Carlos P. Garcia (CPG) on Tuesday afternoon.
One of the two wounded fishermen identified as Renaldo Putolin, 43, of Malingin, Bien Unido, allegedly shot at police officers who were about to arrest him and his companions for suspected use of banned fine mesh nets in fishing.
According to PO3 Bryan Wahing of the CPG police, the arresting authorities led by PO3 Ferdinand Awas engaged Putolin and his companions in a seaborne pursuit after the group of fishermen fled on board separate pumpboats.
Putolin allegedly shot at the police prompting Awas to fire back using his M14 rifle hitting Putolin in the stomach and another fisherman, Jovanie Carnice, 31, twice in the back.
“Mi diretso sila [Awas] didto sa area, pag-abot nila, nakakita sila na dihay mga grupo sa mga mananagagat nagkamulo og bira sa ilang mga pukot. Mao pagpaingon nila didto, kaning mga kauban nila [mananagat] nakabantay na naay mga pulis na mi-dung didto, mibiya sila sa lugar padagan sa ilang pumpboat…Mao gipanggukod sila, ‘nya naay usa sa mga suspect na onboard aning pumpboat mi-bunlot sa iyang armas og gipamusil ni sila [police],” said Wahing.
All of the fishermen were able to escape including Carnice and Putolin who swam to Barangay Hingotanan in Bien Unido. Police then allegedly found a .38 caliber pistol and one spent shell in the pumpboat left behind by the two wounded men.
This however was denied by Putolin’s and Carnice’s families as they claimed that none of the fishermen were armed.
Wahing said that Putolin may be charged with illegal possession of firearm, illegal fishing, direct assault, attempted homicide and violation against the election gun ban.
Putolin and Carnice continued to be treated for their injuries at the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City.
Awas meanwhile has been stripped off his government-issued firearm and has been removed from seaborne patrol duty pending an investigation.
According to Wahing, the involved police were unaware that two of the fishermen they chased were wounded as they were only notified that the wives of both men filed a report at the Bien Unido Police Station regarding the shooting.
“Nagkamulo man og gukod, wa mahibaw-e na nanga-igo diay ning mga tawhana,” said Wahing. (A. Doydora)