SAN ANTONIO, Nueva Ecija -- A detained accused, who was the sidekick of the leader of a gun-for-hire group earlier nabbed in the foiled assassination attempt on Mayor Arvin C. Salonga was shot and killed after he allegedly grabbed the gun of a lawman interrogating him about his standing warrant of arrest for murder issued by a Tagaytay city local court.
Town police commander Chief Insp. Marlon M. Cudal identified the slain suspect-detainee as Alex Panganiban, 42, of Purok Damayan, Bgy. Ibabang Iyam, Lucena City.
He was the accomplice of arrested gang leader, ex-policeman, Ruelito Roxas, 51, also, of Lucena City, who earlier confessed he was hired to kill Salonga for P5 million.
The duo were nabbed by policemen on July 31 after their foiled slay try on Salonga. During their arrest, their vehicle, a Toyota Vios sedan with conduction sticker VG-0555 yielded three pistols, a fragmentation grenade, a rifle grenade, two rounds of 40mm HE grenades and several rounds of ammunition.
They were slapped with charges for violation of Republic Acts 10591 and 9516 (illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and explosives) before the provincial prosecutor’s office in Cabanatuan city.
Cudal said the alleged gun-grabbing incident by Panganiban took place inside the office of the intelligence section of the police station at 2:55 p.m. Friday.
He said police were conducting tactical interrogation on him about his arrest warrant for murder committed in Silang, Cavite and issued by the RTC Branch 18, of Tagaytay City, Cavite when the suspect allegedly got mad and suddenly grabbed the Cal.9mm pistol of PO1 Rolando Q. Abo and fired it once towards PO2 Alvin S. Azarcon.
However, the gun jammed giving Azarcon enough time to fire back and hit Panganiban in different parts of the body.
Cudal said the wounded detainee was rushed to the nearby San Antonio General Hospital in Bgy. San Mariano but was declared dead-on-arrival by attending physicians.
Recovered from the crime scene were one jammed cal. 9mm. pistol with magazine loaded with 14 bullets, four fired cartridges and two deformed bullets for cal. 9mm.
Cudal said the cadaver of the slain detainee was brought to the New Grace Funeral Parlor in Bgy. Poblacion for autopsy.