In less than 48 hours, cops neutralized the notorious drug ring hitman in a checkpoint shootout in barangay Tabajan, Guindulman shorly after 8 o’clock last night.
Cops manning the checkpoint hit Artemio Tare Jr., also known as Junjun or Bejun, 32, at the back of his head when the latter tried to flee after disembarking from the Southern Star bus he boarded from Loay on his way to Jagna.
But that was after Tare had shot two cops who boarded the bus upon reaching a checkpoint along the national highway.
The two cops–PO1 Joel Bayron and PO1 Jeremias Flatino–went inside the bus to check for the presence of Tare after a massive manhunt was ordered last Friday by PNP Prov’l Director Dennis Agustin. Tare managed to escape from a police team that swooped down at his hideout in sitio Ubos, Causway this city Friday morning. He shot dead a cop and wounded three others in a rambo-style sudden attack which surprised the raiding team..
Tare, seated at the third row from the driver’s seat, raised his arms as if signaling a surrender. But upon taking off his bull cap, he fired five times using a caliber 357 revolver, hitting Bayron’s leg and Flatino near the ribs.
Just as Tare had stepped down the bus, in an obvious attempt to flee, the rest of the police team manning the checkpoint shot Tare with M16 riffles.
Tare died on the spotas declared by Dr. Winefredo Liao, the municipal health officer of Guindulman; while the wounded police officers were rushed to Governor Celestino Gallares Regional Hospital.
Blood and brain in pieces spewed from Tare’s head, and splattered on the road.
Guindulman PNP Chief Pomajeros told the Chronicle that Tare had a gunshot wound in the left side of the abdomen and left knee, aside from the fatal shot at the back of his head.
Scene of the crime operatives recovered the caliber .357 revolver he used in shooting two cops in the bus, a Black Widow caliber .22 revolver loaded with five live ammunitionfrom Tare’s pocket and a Gold Cup caliber .45 pistol with serial no. 907-01 pistol tucked near his waistline.
The caliber 357 revolver loaded with three live bullets bears serial no. 7586.
Clad in jacket over a shirt and cargo pants, Tare easily concealed the firearms he brought along from his escape after a shootout the day before in Tagbilaran against the anti-illegal drugs assault team. But his black rubber shoes had not taken him far enough
Other items recovered from Tare’s possession were one caliber .45 magazine with seven live ammunitions inside, eight caliber .357 live ammunitions, two more live caliber . 45 ammunitions, two transparent heat-sealed plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance, two cellphone batteries, one deformed slug believed to be of caliber .357,
Investigators also recovered an ID card bearing Tare’s name and picture as an intelligence action agent of the Regional Intelligence Division of the Philippine National Police, a professional driver’s license with no.GO4-44-65734, one alumni ID from University of Bohol, a silver necklace, one simcard, one brief and cash amounting to P470 in different denominations..
In an interview with the Chronicle last night, the bus collector named Chorlito Namoco, a 25-year-old resident of Baclayon, narrated that Tare boarded the bus in Loay.
He noticed Tare had been standing and only took the seat upon reaching Duero.
Investigators believed the wound on his knee that he got from the encounter with authorities the day before in Tagbilaran must have been too painful for him to fold his knee for long if he had taken the seat immediately.
Namoco said Tare was supposed to disembark in Jagna. However, the police presence in the market prevented the suspect to stay inside the bus and extend his trip.
While at the crime scene PInsp. Jojit Mananquil, head of the Provincial Intelligence Branch, told the Chronicle in a separate interview that the suspect could have easily left Bohol by taking the boat from Ubay had the Guindulman police team failed to block him.
Mananquil added that his team had already been closely monitoring Tare in Loay in the past two nights as he posted a team in Loay beach area, ready to intercept Tare in case he planned to take a pumpboat in his escape to Cagayan de Oro City.
Tare, a native of Loay attempted to seek financial support from kins which he failed to get, thus was forced to take the bus to Ubay with less than P500 in his wallet.
For his part, Director Agustin issued a statement commending the Guindulman police for giving “justice” to the slain police as well as the three others wounded when Tare made his escape from the supposed raid in sitio Ubos, this city.
At around 8:30a.m. last Friday, a tip turned out to be a trap designed by another drug pusher to kill another anti-illegal drugs crusader, the third cop silenced this year.
An armed drug pusher securing a drug den run by a woman in cahoots near Tagbilaran’s causeway area poised like a lion waiting for his prey that Friday morning, high on drugs from a pot session dusk ‘til dawn. That was Tare on his last stand.
His prey, a six-man police team came that morning in response to a tip from a concerned citizen the night before that a bunch of users gathered for a pot session inside a recycled room that used to be a sari-sari store owned by one Melinda Itong Tesorero, a 34-year-old woman resident of Poblacion 1, Tagbilaran City.
The team from the Provincial Intelligence Branch of the Bohol Police Provincial Office, in coordination with the Tagbilaran City Police, obviously underestimated the structure made of light materials when they arrived at the scene–18 Franklin St., sitio Ubos in Poblacion 1–the residence of Tesorero near the causeway area at the back of the St. Joseph Cathedral.
Oblivious to the police team, Tare, who must be Tesorero’s “bouncer,” had been watching the cops approaching through a small hole on the plywood wall and estimated their location as he pointed two guns guns at them even while behind the walls like a tricky monster.
PO1 Renan Tagotongan leaned on the other side of the wall, while PO1 Michael Ejoc knocked the plywood door.
Nobody responded for a while, and came the burst of gunfire.
Just as the plywood door fell on the ground, Tare welcomed the cops with more gunshots, feet spread to a balance, in a rambo-style with both arms stretched with a caliber 45 pistol in left hand and a caliber 9mm in the right–both bursting with gunfire.
PO1 Ejoc fell on the ground with gunshot wound in the forehead.PO1 Tagotongan also fell on the ground with gunshot wound in the left eye.
By 12:48 past noon Friday , PO1 Ejoc died while being treated at Governor Celestino Gallares Regional Hospital.
PO1 Tagotongan remains in critical condition and has been recommended for operation to take out the slug lodged inside his head.
The two other wounded cops–PO3 Judito Jasmin and PO1 Carlito Gamalo are now safe. PO3 Jasmin sustained gunshot wound in the left lower jaw, while PO1 Gamalo was hit at the left side of the head.
The police team managed to fire back, hitting Tare in the abdomen.
TaRSIER 117 rushed them to Governor Celestino Gallares Regional Hospital, and by the time the suspect calmly fled on foot toward the area near the Cathedral.
Police record shows that Tare had been convicted in 2013 for illegal drugs and had been incarcerated in New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa until his release from jail last year.
The police team led by investigator-in-case, PO1 Jeus Francis Monton, recovered packs of shabu, drug paraphernalia, two fully-loaded caliber .45 magazines, four caliber .45 ammunitions, empty shells and slugs of caliber .45 and 9mm and three cellular phones from the crime scene.
Police arrested Tesorero, the woman who owned the wooden room utilized as drug den where the shootout occured.(with reports from Anthony Aniscal, Ciel Remolador, and Weli Maestrado)
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