Authorities arrested a policeman who went into hiding and AWOL (absent without official leave) for 14 years after killing the 60-year-old aunt of international billiard player Efren “Bata” Reyes in Manila.
National Capital Region Police Office director Guillermo Eleazar identified the suspect Wednesday as Police Officer 1 Elias Gamboa, 45, formerly assigned at the Manila Police District—Meisic Police Station, Station 11 and resident of No. 12 Conception East Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija.
Gamboa, who was tagged as one of the country’s most wanted persons with a monetary reward of P145,000, was arrested following a manhunt operation conducted by men from the NCRPO—Regional Intelligence Division in coordination with the Olongapo City police force at West Bajac Bajac Village in Olongapo Monday morning.
Judge Tita Bughao Alisuag of Regional Trial Court Branch 1 National Capital Judicial Region issued the warrant of arrest for the crime of murder committed by Gamboa in March 2005.
“The police operation stemmed from the information given by a confidential informant leading to the arrest of the suspect who was on his way to vote,” said Eleazar.
Court records showed that Gamboa was responsible in the killing of 60-year-old Victoria Pangilinan, aunt of Reyes, on March 20, 2005 in Manila.
Police records also showed that the suspect had a mutual understanding with Pangilinan.
Gamboa engaged in a heated argument with Pangilinan who he stabbed 19 times in different parts of the body. The victim died on the spot.
“Gamboa hid in different places and became a tricycle driver to sustain his needs from 2005 up to the date of arrest,” said Eleazar.
Police said Gamboa was recruited by the NCRPO in 1999. After his police basic training, he was assigned to the Meisic Police Station in Manila but went AWOL after committing the crime in 2005.
Gamboa was dismissed from the service in 2006.
The suspect is currently detained at the NCRPO Regional Special Operations Unit custodial facility pending the legal orders from the court of origin.
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