Five suspected serial robbers were killed in a shootout with police Monday night in Barangay Tambo, Parañaque City.
Killed after the exchange of gunfire were Joseph Candelaria, a former member of the Philippine Army and the alleged leader of the group “Candelaria Gang”; Nazzan Albao, and three others identified only as one “Alenain”, a certain “Aseras” and one “Cornoso”, who according to the police were all former members of the Philippine Marines.
Police said the Candelaria Gang was responsible in the series of robbery-holdup incidents involving Chinese nationals working at Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations.
The group was also being used as muscle men of Chinese loan sharks engaged in the series of abductions involving fellow Chinese nationals who failed to settle or pay their debts, police added.
Investigation showed that the encounter happened along President Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard near the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) around 9 p.m.
Southern Police District spokesperson Supt. Jenny Tecson said prior to the shootout, a team of policemen arrested another gang member Andy Capia for possession of firearm Colt M1911 at Gecac Parking Lot in Parañaque around 3 a.m. Monday.
“During interrogation, Capia revealed that he is a part of the Candelaria Gang victimizing POGO workers and muscle men of Chinese loan sharks,” said Tecson.
Tecson said Capia’s mobile phone was used to entrap Candelaria and Albao, who were both arrested for illegal possession of firearms while sitting inside a parked Toyoya Vios (YX1038) along President Diosdado Macapagal Avenue around 2 p.m.
The authorities this time used the phone of Candelaria to entrap the other gang members.
The SPD Special Operations Unit and the Parañaque City Police Community Precinct 2 immediately formed a team for the meet-up set at the vicinity of PITX around 9 p.m.
Around 9:15 p.m., a van with three armed men on board arrived supposedly to meet Candelaria.
The three men alighted from the vehicle and began firing shots at the policemen when they sensed the entrapment.
Police fired several shots in return, killing all three suspects. Candelaria and Albao were killed in the crossfire while the driver of the van identified only as one “Layco” managed to escape.
“Lt. Bobby Lumiwan was hit once on his chest. Fortunately he was wearing a bullet proof vest,” said Tecson.
Following the shootout, scene of the crime operatives recovered the Toyota Vios and five firearms, including two .45-cal Armscor pistols and a .9mm Glock, used by the suspects in the exchanged gunfire