Chief Insp. Leo Ajero, city police director, said the search started last Friday after a local court here issued the warrant for the arrest of Pfc. Gilbert Arreola and his brother Lyle, who was reportedly discharged from military service last year.
The Arreola brothers were suspected to be behind the killing of Anton Durana Jr., teacher at the Finishing Arts and Career Enterprising School (FACES), Sept. 18 last year while the victim was inside D’ Noks Videoke Bar at the KCCC Complex here.
Durana was a member of a prominent family here.
On Friday, a team from the Kidapawan City PNP, together with some police operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in North Cotabato and in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), went to the headquarters of the 6th Infantry Division in Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, to serve the warrant for Arreola’s arrest after they were informed that the latter was sighted inside the camp.
But they were surprised to know that Arreola has been on AWOL (absent without official leave) from his service since last December.
Arreola is a member of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army based at the 6ID headquarters.
Authorities have yet to find out why the other Arreola was discharged from the military.
“How can that be? Our sources were so sure that Pfc. Arreola was inside the camp,” said a police operative.
The Arreolas, said Ajero, are now on a wanted list.
“We assure the Durana family that justice would be served. We have launched the massive manhunt against the suspects since last week,” he stressed.
The 6ID, through spokesperson Lt. Col. Julieto Ando, said that it would conduct investigation as to Pfc. Arreola’s whereabouts and check records of his AWOL.
Ando said they are willing to turn over the suspect to police authorities once they get him so that he would be given the chance to defend himself against the charges hurled against him.
“We will not tolerate any act of harboring a criminal if indeed there is,” he said.