The Philippine National Police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group has arrested two motorcycle-riding suspects and three others listed as wanted persons.
Bernabe Abarratigue a.k.a. "Jun," an alleged leader of the "Abarratigue Group," and a certain "Joy" were apprehended in Barangay Dorongan Punta, Mangatarem, Pangasinan last October 24.
The Abarratigue Group is said to be engaged in gun-for-hire, robbery/hold-up and illegal drug activities in Pangasinan.
The operation was initiated by the combined elements of the CIDG Region 1 - Special Operations Team, CIDG Pangasinan and Mangatarem Police Station.
Police Senior Superintendent Edwin Quilates said that they obtained information that the two suspects were planning to kill a business owner in Barangay Poblacion in Mangatarem.
Quilates said that "description and surveillance photos" gathered by the CIDG matched the suspect's motorcyle.
He added that Abarratigue and Joy opened fire at the police operatives, prompting them to fire back, "resulting [in] the neutralization of the suspects and the recovery of two caliber .45 pistols and the motorcycle."
PNP Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa earlier said that the PNP will now focus on running after motorcycle-riding hitmen after President Rodrigo Duterte tasked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to lead his war on drugs.
Dela Rosa had said that he directed PNP personnel to bring in motorcycle-riding suspects alive.
Meanwhile, combined elements of CIDG Ilocos Norte under the direct supervision of Quilates along with CIDG Region 1, Vintar Police Station and Piddig Police Station apprehended Clarence Dela Cruz in Barangay 6, Tonoton, Piddig, Ilocos Norte.
Dela Cruz is an alleged leader of the "Concino Group," which is said to be engaged in cattle rustling, theft and robbery activities in the 1st District of Ilocos Norte. He is wanted for violation of Presidential Decree No. 533 or the Anti-Cattle Rustling Law.
Another suspect identified as Arnel Del Monte was caught in New Libangon, Polanco, Zamboanga Del Norte at around 9:00 a.m. for rape. He is an alleged member of the "Virgelio Usad Criminal Group."
The operation was led by the detectives of the CIDG Zamboanga Del Norte and under the supervision of CIDG Region 9 chief Police Senior Superintendent Anthony Aberin along with the Polanco Municipal Police Station.
An alleged member of the "Sabalones Group," identified as Dennis Lapa a.k.a. "Tete," was also arrested at Camp Brig. Gen. Arcadio Maxilom, Doña Modista Gaisano St., Sudlon Lahug, Cebu City. He is wanted for violation of the Republic act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
Operatives of the CIDG Cebu Province headed by CIDG Region 7 chief Police Superintendent Royina Garma along with Catmon Municipal Police Station conducted the operation. — Marlly Rome Bondoc/BM, GMA News