Police operatives swooped down on two notorious criminal syndicates operating in Luzon, killing three of its members and arrested seven others.
According to Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde, those killed were part of a gun-for-hire group operating in San Pablo City while the other five arrested suspects were engaged in kidnapping-related activities in Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac, Cagayan Valley and Metro Manila.
The hired guns, Albayalde said, worked for some local officials.
Albayalde identified one of the three slain suspects as Christopher Alain Alvero, while the other two of the arrested San Pablo City-based gang members were identified as Joy, Alvero and Enrico Suasi.
Albayalde said Alvero is ranked eighth on the list of the province’s high value target and was reportedly responsible in the series of contract killings in San Pablo City.
Seized from the suspects were a sniper rifle, an automatic shotgun, M16 rifle, six handguns, two grenades, and assorted ammunitions.
Alvera is also considered one of the big-time distributors of illegal drugs in San Pablo City and its nearby towns.
The other arrested gang suspects were identified as Dennis Matian, Mary Ann Mallari, Raymundo Dequina, John Lana and Jackie Lou Isidro, all members of the Peralta Group, a notorious criminal syndicate engaged in kidnapping and gun-for-hire activities.
Authorities, however, failed to capture gang leader Ricardo Peralta, a subject of several warrants of arrest for multiple murder, kidnapping, carnapping and highway robbery.
Albayalde said intelligence reports said that some politicians use the Peralta group in gun-for-hire activities but declined to divulge who the politicians are.
“As of this time, we cannot divulge the names of those politicians. We have intelligence information that needs to be confirmed and validated,” Albayalde said.
He said Peralta has been arrested but has returned to his illegal activities.
“When I was still the S2 and R2 [intelligence office] in Police Region Office-3 na
monitor na naming yan sa
Nueva Ecija, Cagayan, Bulacan, Metro Manila and even in Northern Luzon-—La Union,” Albayalde said.
He recalled that during that time, Peralta, who used to head the “Red Vigilante” group in Nueva Ecija, peddled his services to incumbent governors, mayors and candidates running for either governor or mayor.
Albayalde said that if evidence warrants, “we can always conduct police operations against them.”
“And if we get evidence that they are also in possession of unlicensed firearms we can always apply for a search warrant against them,” he added.
He said the arrest of the Peralta Group members is vital to as the police intensify their operation against private armed groups as the mid-term elections draws near.