Caught in the crossfire, a 16-year-old boy was shot dead during an arrest operation conducted by the police force of Barangay Cogon, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental.
The victim, identified as Francis Nikko Cabahalan, was inflicted with a bullet wound in the nape that passed through his chest. According to a witness and the victim’s companion at the time, Cabahalan was shot from the outside which leads to the conclusion that the bullet came from an officer. This happened while they were watching TV around 4 pm on Tuesday, January 23.
Police Senior Superintendent Rolando Destura, Provincial Director, stated that the operation was conducted for the arrest of a wanted high-value target and suspected hitman named Baldomiro Pajo.
The said arrest was led by Police Chief Inspector Esperidion Biado, Balingasag Police Station and MisOr Provincial Mobile Force Company.
During the operation, Pajo was able to notice the police and released his firearm. He then fled to nearby rooftops and entered a house during the gunfight.
After moments of the said shootout, the police were able to neutralize Pajo but were too late to perceive that an innocent child was shot.
In a released statement, Sr. Supt. Destura expressed they are deeply saddened by the accident. They are currently conducting tests to identify who fired the bullet.
Furthermore, Destura added that if the bullet analysis confirms that one of his officers accidentally killed the child, he/she will be punished severely.