Upholding the law and maintaining peace, at times, come at a costly price. For a police station chief in Cebu who was once assigned in Loon and Dauis, that price was paid with his life.
Senior Insp. Alexander Nuñez, acting chief of the Catmon Police Station in Cebu, was on his way to spend Christmas with his wife and sons, aged six and three.
He was already off duty and driving his Isuzu Crosswind to Lapu-Lapu City on Christmas Eve when he responded to a domestic alarm among brothers identified as the Jaysons in Carmen, Cebu.
As result of what was supposed to be just an effort to break off a quarrel among drunken brothers, Nuñez never got to spend Christmas with his family including wife PO3 Queen Brigette, a former DYRD newscaster.
One of the brothers, who are allegedly linked to the illegal drug trade, shot Nuñez in the back of his head following his intervention in the street fight.
According to reports, Nuñez confronted one of the brothers identified as Carlito. But the attempt to pacify the suspect failed as he allegedly shot at the off-duty police officer instead.
The gunshot missed Nuñez prompting the policeman to fire back hitting and killing Carlito.
Seeing their brother fall, the Jaysons reportedly ganged up on Nuñez with three of the brothers restraining him while the other, later identified as Jaime, shot him dead.
In the aftermath of a hot pursuit launched by policemen in Cebu, two more of the Jaysons namely Ricardo and Camilo were also killed.
While being booked at a police station, Ricardo allegedly grabbed the pistol of a policeman shooting a cop in the process.
However, the injured policeman was reportedly able to recover the gun and shoot the suspect dead.
In a separate incident, Camilo allegedly also tried to take hold of a cop’s service firearm while leading police to where Jaime is supposedly located. The scuffle resulted in the shooting and death of Camilo.
While one of the brothers Carlo remains in police custody, The Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 director Chief Supt. Noli Taliño declared Jaime armed and dangerous.
Taliño also ordered the hastened finding of Jaime, “dead or alive, and called on the public to report any information on the whereabouts of the alleged cop killer.
In days following Nuñez death, pledges have been made for the bounty in the capture of Jaime with the amount reaching over P100,000, an aggregate sum from various government offices.
With the intensified manhunt, police in Cebu and Brigette are optimistic that Jaime’s capture is imminent while Taliño noted that the suspect is likely to still be in Cebu.
But for Brigette, on top of coping with Nuñez’s killing, she is also left with one of the hardest parts of losing her husband—explaining the death of the policeman to her six-year-old son.
“I just explained to him as a kid that he [Nuñez] will wake up when he gets to heaven. He asked me if heaven and the moon are near to each other, so he and his brother could visit him since he wants to be an astronaut”, Brigette said.