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Hostage-taker gunned down by Manila police

A suspected drug user who had not slept for three days was shot dead after holding his family hostage and setting their house on fire yesterday Saturday in a slum area on Floresca St., Pandacan, Manila.

Police identified the fatality as Ranil Christian Baje, 26, who was shot dead by one of two police officers he stabbed with a kitchen knife.

Relatives said the suspect had been awake for three straight days and were acting strangely early that morning.

A niece, who asked not to be identified, said she sensed trouble and left the house purportedly to charge her mobile phone.

Instead, she texted their relatives sleeping on the second floor – the grandmother, suspect’s uncle, and aunt about the trouble brewing.

Unfortunately, the suspect was already upstairs with a knife, telling the three victims not to leave at around 9 a.m.

The three managed to escape, but the uncle suffered a knife wound in the face.

Enraged by the escape, police said Baje set their house on fire and fled the scene.

As firefighters came to prevent the fire from spreading, two police officers tried to negotiate with the suspect who hid in a nearby house.

Insp. Genesis Aliling was attacked by the suspect and suffered multiple wounds. His backup, Insp. Francis Guevarra, tried to help Aliling but was stabbed in his left hand.

Before Baje would cause more harm, Aliling fired and killed the suspect.

All three were rushed to the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila, but the suspect was declared dead on arrival.

Meanwhile, Senior Insp. Reden Alumno, Manila arson chief, said the suspect’s house was partially damaged.

The two officers were discharged from the hospital after receiving treatment.

Manila Police District director Chief Supt. Vicente Danao Jr. said that he will recommend them to be awarded for their bravery. (Ria Fernandez)