AT least seven armed criminals ended up dead in separate gunbattles with agents of the National Capital Region Police Office on Monday night, six of them gunned down in two separate clashes with members of the Southern Police District, NCRPO director, Major General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said yesterday.
Five of the suspects who were all believed to be members of a notorious robbery-holdup gang were killed in an encounter with members of the SPD District Special Operations Unit and the Parañaque City Police-Community Precinct 2 along Diosdado Macapagal Avenue near the PITX in Barangay Tambo at 9:15 p.m. Monday, Eleazar said citing a report from SPD director, Brigadier General Nolasco K. Bathan.
The driver of the suspects’ getaway Toyota Vios identified only as one alias ‘Layco’ managed to escape arrest and is still being hunted as of press time.
Recovered from the slain suspects’ possession were two caliber .45 Armscor semi-automatic pistol, one Glock 9mm pistol, two other handguns and dozens of live ammunition and other personal belongings, said Parañaque City Police Office chief, Colonel Robin King Sarmiento.
Eleazar said that the slain suspects were known to be members of the dreaded Candelaria Robbery-Holdup Group operating in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces.
He said that prior to the gunfight, a member of the gang identified as Andy Capia was arrested for illegal possession of a loaded .45 pistol at the Gegac parking lot in Parañaque City at 3 a.m. Monday.
During questioning, the suspect confessed to be a part of the robbery-holdup gang targeting Chinese POGO workers in the area as well as ‘musclemen’ of Chinese casino loan shark rings victimizing Chinese casino habitues in Metro Manila.
Eleazar said the local police used Capia’s mobile phone to entrap his cohorts identified as former Army soldier Joseph Candelaria and one Nazzan Albao.
The official said that the two suspects were eventually arrested for illegal possession of a Glock cal. .22 and cal. 40 pistol and an Armscor cal. .45 pistol along Diosdado Macapagal Avenue around 2 p.m. of the same day.
The two were on board a Toyota Vios when arrested during the sting.
Eleazar said the same police team used Candelaria’s cell phone to entrap their other cohorts leading to a ‘meet-up’ in the area around 9 in the evening.
He said that three other suspected members of the gang identified by Capia as one ‘Alenain,’ a certain ‘Aseras’ and one ‘Cornoso, all said to be former Marine soldiers arrived at the scene on board a van about 9:15 p.m.
However, the trio must have sensed the ongoing entrapment operation and began shooting which prompted the lawmen to retaliate killing all of them as they emerged from the van while firing their guns.
According to Bathan, both Candelaria and Albao were killed in the crossfire when the driver of the van fled. One of the two was found to be still in handcuffs when killed, reports said.
A member of the police team identified as Lieutenant Bobby Lumiwan was hit once in his chest but was saved by his bullet-proof vest, said the SPD director.
In Pasay City, local policemen under Col. Bernard Yang shot and killed a notorious drug trafficker known only as ‘Manny’ during a buy-bust operation which ended up in a shootout in Sitio Wella, Bgy. 201, Zone 20 around 10:15 p.m. Monday.
With Edd Reyes