KILLED IN AMBUSH. Policemen check the body of one of the two slain prison guards in Villaba, Leyte. The jail guards were escorting five inmates from a court hearing onboard a tricycle when unknown assailants attacked them. (Photo by Elvie Roa)
ORMOC CITY, Leyte – Two prison guards of the Leyte sub-provincial jail were killed in an ambush while escorting five detainees after a court hearing in Villaba, Leyte Tuesday afternoon.
Capt. Ricky Rubillos, Villaba town police chief, identified the victims as provincial guards Leo Gonzales, 54, and Genesis Piamonte, 57.
Also killed was a certain JR, the driver of the tricycle the guards hired to transport them and the inmates.
Case investigator Patrolman Glenn Ian Belongilot said the vehicle carrying the guards and inmates was on its way back to the jail in nearby Palompon town when attacked by two motorcycle-riding men in an uninhabited area of Tagbubunga village in Villaba town.
Inmate Rommel Tahanlangit, 36, said he noticed a single motorcycle, with one back rider, appearing on their left side and started firing at them, instantly hitting the guards. Before the driver was hit, the tricycle slowed down and swerved.
The five inmates, paired on handcuffs, sustained bruises when they scampered and ran to escape the gunman. They all returned and surrendered to the responding policemen a few minutes later. The police said rescuing the inmates is not part of the attackers’ motive.
Palompon sub-provincial jail warden Gilbert Cayubit said the jail’s service car was damaged when super typhoon Yolanda struck and there is still no replacement after more than five years. The jail management just rent tricycles to transport prisoners.
“This is the first violent attack against our personnel and I am very sad. I lost two good men who became my very good friends at work,” the warden told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
He said it is high time to pursue the request for service vehicle and additional personnel. (PNA)