By Calvin Cordoja
CEBU CITY—An armed man was gunned down by policemen inside the premises of Archbishop’s Palace shortly before noon Tuesday.
Based on the driver’s license recovered from his possession, the man was identified as Jeffrey Mendoza Cañedo, a resident of Barangay Labangon, Cebu City.
A brief shootout took place before the man was subdued, said Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO 7) who rushed to the area after the incident.
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) director Sr. Supt. Royina Garma also rushed to the area.
Police investigation showed that the man, who was driving a motorcycle, was looking for Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma when he arrived at the Archbishop’s Palace at 10:40 a.m.
Since it was normal for people to visit the place, the man, who wore a helmet, was not stopped at the guard house.
Several meters from the guard house, a security guard approached the man, who said he was there to meet Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.
At the time, Archbishop Palma was away as he was attending a meeting with youth ministers, said Cebu Archdiocese spokesman Msgr. Joseph Tan.
The man was later escorted to the office of Palma where he was entertained by the Archbishop’s secretaries.
The secretaries then noticed that the man was acting strangely.
“He looked disturbed. He was not answering questions properly and was talking about so many things like he wanted to have a confession or he wanted to go to New Zealand,” said Sinas.
One of the secretaries noticed that something was bulging in the man’s waist.
Alarmed, Palma’s staff called the police.
Three operatives from the CCPO Mobile Group arrived and approached the man.
The man got irked, told the policemen to move back and drew a .38 revolver.
The policemen covered for safety while the man ran towards a perimeter fence and hid behind parked cars.
Sinas said policemen tried to convince the man to surrender but he opened fire, forcing the police to fire back.
After the exchange of gunfire, the man was later found slumped on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds in the body.
Sinas said further investigation will be made to find out what was the motive of the man when he went to the Archbishop’s Palace with a firearm.
Because of the incident, policemen will be deployed at the Archbishop’s Palace, Sinas said.
Sinas added that the PRO 7 is ready to provide a police escort should Palma request for it.