MANILA, Philippines – The police chiefs of two neighboring towns in Laguna were killed while another policeman sustained injuries when a speeding passenger jeepney smashed into their patrol car parked along the highway in Calauan town early yesterday morning, authorities said.
Senior Inspector Alex Marasigan, police chief of Victoria town, sustained head and body injuries while Senior Inspector Santiago Cuntapay, police chief of Calauan, had chest and head injuries.
Marasigan died on the spot while Cuntapay died while being operated on at the Asian Hospital in Parañaque City.
PO3 Rodel Reyes Cardel, driver of the police mobile car, sustained minor injuries.
The driver of the passenger jeepney, Leonilo Resurreccion, 53, surrendered after the incident. He is now detained at the Laguna provincial police headquarters in Sta. Cruz town.
Senior Superintendent Gilbert Cruz, Laguna police director, said the incident happened near the police detachment in Barangay Bangyas, Calauan town at around 5 a.m. yesterday.
Marasigan and Cuntapay were in the area waiting for the police chiefs of other Laguna towns as they were slated to attend activities for the Crime Prevention Month at Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba City.
“To save gasoline money, they decided to proceed to their destination on board a single police vehicle. They were waiting for other police chiefs when the incident occurred,” Cruz said.
Cruz said Marasigan and Cuntapay, who were in complete police uniforms, were chatting at the back of the parked mobile car when the speeding passenger jeepney hit them.
The two police chiefs were dragged and pinned down to the left portion of the mobile car, which belonged to the Rizal town police.
Because of the impact, Cruz said Marasigan and Cuntapay suffered heavy head injuries.
Resurreccion said the jeepney lost its brakes and he failed to maneuver it away from the parked police car.
However, Cruz doubted his story, saying he could have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
“It was impossible for him not to see the police officers because the police car had its blinkers on,” said Cruz.
He said Marasigan and Cuntapay could have their backs on the onrushing passenger jeepney as they failed to notice it approaching them.
The passenger jeepney was also bound for Calamba City and had six passengers, whose statements were taken by police investigators.
Cruz ordered the filing of charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple murder and damage to property against Resurreccion. – With Arnell Ozaeta, Ed Amoroso, Cecille Suerte Felipe - By Non Alquitran