The Southern Mindanao regional police are investigating the robbery, hostage-taking, and shootout in Panabo City, Davao del Norte, that left six people, including a police official and the hostage, dead.

Senior Insp. Gretchin Cinco, regional police deputy spokesperson, said the Regional Investigation and Detective Management has formed a team for the probe.

“The team was created purposely to conduct a special investigation,” Cinco said in a text message Wednesday night.

Cinco did not provide additional details, but it is expected that the probe will touch on how hostage Irene Zamora got killed when members of the Panabo City Police shot it out with her captors.

On Tuesday afternoon, two armed men robbed the Yidong Agri Supply store owned by Filipino-Chinese businessman Leo Apalie Lai in Purok Avocado, Brgy. Cagangohan.

The suspects immediately shot and killed security guard Edgar Mocos and driver Allen Jones Polo. The store’s warehouseman, Darios Pilotos, got injured.

Upon learning the incident, policemen led by Senior Insp. Rene Angelo Alampay rushed to the site but were fired upon by the suspects.

Alampay died at the scene while his fellow policemen shot it out with the suspects, who tried to escape using Lai’s vehicle and brought Zamora with them as hostage.

Both suspects and Zamora died in the firefight, police said. (John Roson)

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