A LEADER of Mendoza Robbery Hold Up Group and his cohort were killed in an armed encounter with the combined operatives of Regional Special Operation Unit IV A and Laguna Provincial Intelligence Unit in Arcilla Road, Bgy. Tagapo, Sta Rosa City, on Wednesday night.
Police Lt.Col. Vicente Amante, newly installed City police chief, identified the slain suspects as Bernaldo Mendoza of Quezon province and Jorge Almendra, of Purok 6 Bgy. Bucal, Calamba City,Laguna.
RSOU IVA team leader P/Lt.Col. Melvin Montante said the encounter transpired at about 9:30 pm.
Police said Mendoza served as leader of the newly identified Mendoza Robbery Hold Up Group while Almendra was also a member and connected with the Fajardo Drug Group.
Mendoza was involved in the killing of a police officer in Camarines Sur where one of his members was identified as Antonino Bonita alias Buddy of Bgy. Cambuga, Mulanay, Quezon.
Almendra was also involved in other illegal activities like drug trafficking and connected with Fajardo Drug Group in Calamba City.
He was in charge of the collection of illegal drug money as well as courier of the group.
Initial investigation disclosed one of the operatives acted as poseur buyer dealing with the suspect for one cal. .38 revolver.
But the suspect sensed he was dealing with a cop, suddenly drew his gun and fired towards the operative.
His cohort joined the firefight but the police backup were able to neutralize the suspects who sustained several gunshot wounds in different parts of their bodies.
Recovered from the crime scene were two caliber .38 pistol, one caliber .45 pistol, undetermined number of fired cartridges and P3,000 buy-bust money.
Recovered from the suspects were one transparent plastic sachet containing suspected shabu with an approximate weight of 5 grams and an estimated value of P125,000.