By LIEZLE BASA IÑIGO
The 31-year-old chief of police (COP) of Mallig municipality, Isabela province was shot dead in a drug sting gone bad last Sunday night.
Killed was Senior Inspector Michael Angelo Tubaña, 31, of Vira Poblacion, Roxas, Isabela.
Superintendent Ronald Laggui, head of the Provincial Investigation and Detection Management Branch, said Tubaña was gunned down by one of two drug pushers riding a motorcycle on the national highway in Barangay Centro 1, Mallig at 10:15 p.m.
Tubaña, along with Police Officer 3 Edwin Gubal and two confidential agents were in the middle of a buy-bust operation when one of the suspects suddenly pulled out a gun and shot the police chief in the body.
Laggui said Tubaña was immediately rushed to the hospital but expired along the way.
The two targets of the drug bust initially eluded arrest but were eventually nabbed during a dragnet operation.
One of the suspects was later on identified as Warren Bulawit, a 19-year-old tricycle driver of Brgy. Nambaran, Tabuk City, Kalinga. His accomplice was a 17-year-old minor and both were nabbed after they were positively identified by witnesses.
The two were arrested by the joint operating units of Provincial Intelligence Branch, Isabela PPO, Regional Intelligence Division, PRO2, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 2 and Mallig PS, Isabela PPO in coordination with Kalinga Police Provincial Office and the Chief of Police of Tabuk City PS, Kalinga PPO.
Chief Supt Jose Mario Espino, Police Regional Director extended his deepest sympathy to the bereaved family.
“In the continuity of our intensified campaign against illegal drugs and criminality under Chief PNP Oscar Albayalde, we cannot discount casualties like this and I salute the Chief of Police of Mallig PS, PSINSP Tubaña of following orders and to the arresting units of Isabela PPO and CIDG who immediately arrested the suspects together with Kalinga PPO and the Chief of Police, Tabuk PS, Kalinga PPO,” said Espino.