Police Chief, Intel Officer Die in Shootout with Hold-uppers

MARCOS Town, Ilocos Norte, July 3 – Chief of Police Inspector Naldo Aromin and his intelligence officer SPO3 Danny Ballesteros were killed this afternoon during a fierce firefight with five suspected holduppers in Brgy. Lydia, this town, lawmen reported.

One of the suspects was also killed in the shootout. A residence certificate (cedula) found in his wallet reveals his alleged name and believed to be a native of Calanasan, Apayao, probers said.

Investigators said the hooded suspects allegedly robbed a Coca Cola warehouse in Brgy. Lydia and fled with P500,000 cash. They handtied the bodega manager Merlyn Gabriel and her nephew Ace Bueno as they looted the cash and other valuables inside the office.

The suspects fled on foot towards the mountain. Responding cops led by Inspector Aromin and SPO3 Ballesteros hunted the fleeing suspects and cornered them as they were about to divide their loot among themselves.

At this juncture, the suspects refused to surrender and instead they traded shots with the policemen killing Ballesteros and Aromin.

Outnumbered, the suspects withdrew leaving behind their dead companion.

Police provincial director S/Supt. Marlou Chan said they would look into the report whether the suspects belong to the same group that robbed a Coke delivery truck in Banna town a few weeks ago.

At Camp Juan, Laoag City and Marcos police station, the Philippine Flag is hoisted at half-mast in honor of the fallen police officers as per directive by Colonel Chan.

Colonel Chan said the INPPO is set to bestow posthumous awards and recommend outright rank promotion to the late Police Lt. Aromin and Intel officer Ballesteros citing the duo’s bravery and valor in fighting the lawless elements. (Excel Guiang)