Two persons were injured in a shooting incident Friday afternoon in Barangay Bucana, El Nido, due to a land dispute between opposing claimants.
Initial information sent by P/Col. Socrates Faltado, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in MIMAROPA, identified the injured as Honestly Ines Pascual, 40, a resident of Coron, and Linapacan resident Federito Osabel Alvarez, 44, both temporarily staying at Sitio Calitang in Bucana.
Police investigation indicated that both injured persons were part of a group of 11 individuals that intruded into the property of Meriam Cu being guarded by security guards of the Unit Security Agency (USA).
Reportedly led by a certain Dennis Mercader, a resident of Bucana, the group took over Cu’s property and built a barbed wire fence around it.
However, Cu instructed security guards Leofel Jay Belarmino, Christian Gonzales, and other workers to remove the fence because it does not have her authority as the property owner.
Mercader reportedly fired first at the security guards using a homemade shotgun, prompting Belarmino and Gonzales to return fire and injuring Pascual and Alvarez.
The police report said Mercader hurled also an improvised explosive device (IED) towards the security guards before fleeing.
Suspects Pascual and Alvarez were arrested after they were identified by the security guards as part of Mercader’s group that intruded in Cu’s property.
The wounded were brought to the hospital under tight watch by the El Nido police.
Meanwhile, a manhunt for Mercader and 11 other unidentified suspects was launched by the El Nido police.