A dismissed police officer allegedly responsible for the spate of killings of suspected drug personalities was himself killed in an encounter with lawmen, a minute after he allegedly shot dead a jeepney driver Thursday night in Caloocan City.
Elpidio Manding, former policeman, with a rank of PO3 and resident of Blk. 8, Lot 75, Macapagal St., Villa San Jose Subd., Bgy. Grace Ville, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, died on the spot from multiple gunshot wounds in the body.
Police recovered from the suspect a caliber .45 pistol, a heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing suspected shabu, different identification cards and a bond paper with listed names of suspected drug personalities, who were previously killed with corresponding amounts listed on it.
Caloocan police chief Senior Supt. Johnson Almazan said that earlier at around 10:45 p.m., elements of Caloocan Police North Extension Office (NEO), led by Supt Reydante Ariza, received an information regarding a shooting incident that happened on San Vicente St., Bgy. Camarin, that resulted in the death of jeepney driver Restituto Romero Jr., alias “Ponga”.
A follow-up operation was immediately conducted by policemen until they spotted Manding on a motorcycle without plate number travelling along Sampalukan, Bgy. 176, Bagong Silang, whose description fit with the assailant of Romero as described by witnesses.
Police tried to flag him down but Manding sped away, prompting lawmen to give chase until he was cornered in Phase 9, Sampalukan. The suspect, instead of surrendering, opened fire at the lawmen, who promptly retaliated, killing him instantly.
Investigators learned that Manding was dismissed from the police service for being AWOL or absent without official leave. His motive in the killing of Romero is yet to be established but police said Ponga, the assumed named of Romero, was in the list of his target.