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3 gun-for-hire suspects down in Batangas

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By JOENALD MEDINA RAYOS

TAYSAN, Batangas – A target unidentified businessman has survived but the three suspects were gunned down in a bloody encounter here, Thursday, November 22.

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On the report of Taysan Municipal Police Station chief PSI Roy Cuevas, to Batangas Police Provincial Director PSSupt. Edwin Quilates, the former said the elements of BPPO-Provincial Intelligence Barnch led by PCInsp. Rodel Ban-O and Cuevas team themselves are manning a check-point at barangay Bilogo when they plugged down a gray commuter van with plate number RDJ-679 passing through the check point.

But instead of heeding the police manning the checkpoint, the group aboard the van suddenly sped up and fired at the team tailing them that prompted the law enforcers to return fire.

The short encounter resulted into the death of the three suspects identified as Solomon Lacaba Panal, resident of Bisalao-Bagbaguin, Valenzuela City; Virgilio Cantuba Hernandez, resident of Banlic, Cabuyao, Laguna; and  Efren Maranan Cruzada, resident of Villa De Calamba, La Mesa, Calamba City in Laguna.

SOCO investigators recovered two (2) caliber 45 pistol and one (1) caliber 9mm pistol from the crime scene.

NOTICE the bullet-riddled portion of the commuter van of the suspects.|PNP Photo

As a result, the suspects sustained gunshot wounds while the vehicle of the surveillance team pursuing the suspects incurred bullet holes.

Initial investigation revealed that the police is tracking the whereabouts and operations of the suspects. It was also learned that after one (1) month surveillance conducted by BPPO-PIB/PPDEU and Taysan MPS with the help of reliable informants, the suspects were found out to be reportedly notorious gun for hire personalities involved in series of gun-for-hire, robbery incidents and being used/utilized by drug lords in killing those drug pushers who failed to remit drug money, operating in Batangas and provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan as well as in Metro Manila.

The team was also linked to different atrocities like the killing of Elvis Areglo, an inmate of the Batangas Provincial Jail in September 2018; killing of Kenneth Lumanglas alias Pekto and a 7-year-old child and wounding another civilian last November 14, 2018. It is also reportedly responsible to the killing of Eddie Notabio in Bagbaguin, Caloocan City sometimes in March 2017; the killing of one Alias Bogger in Bagbaguin, Valenzuela City sometime in September 2017; and robbery hold up worth Php120K from one Alias Orbie in Bagbaguin, Valenzuela City sometimes in October 2018.

The series of gun-for-hire activities in Sto Tomas, Malvar, Tanuan City, Lipa City and Cabuyao City, Laguna were also attributed to the group.

Police report said prior to the said confrontation last Thursday, the group was reportedly hired to assassinate a still an unidentified businessman from Taysan, Batangas and were conducting surveillance against their target when the armed confrontation happened.

With the neutralization of the suspects, the police believed that it will significantly lessen the gun for hire activities in Batangas Province and their area of operations.|#BALIKAS_News

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