SURIGAO CITY(MindaNews/16 November) – Policemen killed the alleged leader of a notorious criminal group and arrested five other suspects, two of them former Philippine Army members, who were reportedly on their way to kidnap a prominent businessman here, officials said.
Supt. Reynaldo Acosta, acting city police director, said that Dino Patosa, a resident of Baoy, Gigaguit in Surigao del Norte, was killed Wednesday after he allegedly fought the joint arresting team led by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
[caption id="attachment_38451" align="alignleft" width="600"] Surigao City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas and CIDG provincial director Gerson Soliven check the items recovered from the Dino Kidnap and Robbery Group operating in Surigao del Norte during a media presentation on November 15, 2012. Five suspects were arrested last Wednesday.Mindanews Photo by Vanessa Almeda[/caption]
Acosta said that Patosa allegedly was the leader of the Dino Kidnapping and Robbery Group, which was involved in the robbery and shooting incident at the Parinas Jewelry Shop last September that left an employee dead.
The arrested suspects were identified as Globert G. Aleria, 37, a former member of the Philippine Army, of Colambugan, Maramag, Bukidnon; Jessie V. Obenita, 27, also an ex-Army, of Liangga, Surigao del Sur; Ronald M. Brunio, 30, of Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City; Julito P. Biling, 42, of Cabugo, Claver, Surigao del Norte; and Nori Apac, 40, of Bunyasan, Malimono also in Surigao del Norte.
Recovered from the suspects were two .45 caliber handguns, a home-made 35/16 cal 5.56 revolver, a grenade, five cellphones, three bonnets, a flashlight, and several ammunitions and two motorbikes. The Honda XRM has no plate number while the TMX motorbike bore plate number 8419 LO.
Senior Supt. Roel Obusan, provincial police director, said they are still investigating reports that the group was on their way to abduct a member of a prominent family engaged in business last Wednesday at around 3 p.m.
Obusan said the arrested suspects will be charged with illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosive under Republic Act 8294 or the Firearms Law of 1997.
Patosa and his five cohorts tried to escape the arresting authorities using motorcycles but they were cornered at Barangay Ipil, Acosta said in a press conference Thursday night.
The suspects were believed to be involved in various abduction, gun-for-hire and robbery activities in the province, the police said.
A November 15 report at the CIDG website identified the Laurente family of the Eduhome Enterprises store chain as the target of the group.
In a press release, CIDG chief police director Samuel D. Pagdilao Jr. was quoted as saying that the CIDG operatives, together with members of the PNP Maritime Group, were able to arrest three of the suspects “who were sighted in Brgy. Ipil near the residence of the Laurentes” while on board the motorcycle. The three were identified as Aleria, Obenita and Brunio who were cornered by the police.
The report further said the three “were sent ahead of the other suspects to act as lookouts.”
Patosa, who was in a different motorbike and reportedly going towards the site, was able to escape from the arresting officers and a short stakeout ensued. When cornered, Patosa allegedly fought back but end up wounded.
CIDG provincial director Gerson Soliven said the suspect was brought to the Caraga Regional Hospital but died later.
Soliven, who was part of the composite team, said that witnesses were able to positively identify three of the suspects, including Patosa, as those behind the Parinas robbery-shooting incident.
City Mayor Ernesto Matugas said he is happy that the group was caught “because this will be a big backlash to our investment climate if they were not arrested.” (Vanessa L. Almeda/MindaNews)