VALENCIA CITY (MindaNews/18 Oct) — Two suspected members of the notorious Rholie Batistil gang in Bukidnon, including the 13th most wanted person in Northern Mindanao, were killed in an early morning police operation Sunday.
The two died in an encounter with a composite police team who were tipped off by the intelligence community of the suspects’ whereabouts in Juanillia Village, Purok 17C in Valencia City.
Police Superintendent Reynante Reyes, chief of the Regional Special Operations Group, identified the suspects as Juvel Fabricante, the13th most wanted person in Northern Mindanao and Renante Malapad alias “Buddy/Long hair.
The report said the police team assembled in an area in the village where they expected the motorcycle-riding suspect to pass and when they did, the team stopped them. But Fabricante reportedly lobbed a fragmentation grenade, forcing the police to fire. The grenade’s pin was removed but “did not explode due to ordnance defect,” the report said.
Fabricante, who died on the spot, had a P90,000 reward on his head. Malapad was rushed to the Sanitarium Hospital in Valencia City, where he was declared dead on arrival. \
The Bukidnon Provincial Police Office said the gang operates in Valencia City and neighboring towns and are involved in highway robbery, kidnapping, murder, cattle rustling, rape, carnapping and gun-for-hire.
Police recovered a .45 caliber gun each from Fabricante and Malapad. They also reported to have found two fragmentation grenades inside a camouflage belt bag he was wearing.
Also recovered was an XRM black motorcycle and pictures of personalities believed to be would-be targets of the suspects. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)