Agusan cops arrest leader, 6 members of Ondo Perez Group

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/ 03 November)— Authorities finally nabbed the leader and six members of the Ondo Perez Group, a notorious robbery and kidnap syndicate that operates in Agusan del Sur, following a series of operation in the town of San Francisco, officials said.

Chief Supt. Carmelo Valmoria, Philippine National Police Region 13 (Caraga Region) director, said that Jobert Perez alias Ondo, the group’s leader, was captured as they were about to rob the Guysler Convenience Store at around 2:30 a.m. Friday.

“We received an intelligence report before the robbery took place so we were able to prepare our men,” he said in a phone interview.

During the operation, three police officers were injured when Perez lobbed a grenade at the operatives, Valmoria said, adding that one of them was critically wounded and had to undergo a major operation.

Perez was also wounded in the operation, the police official said.

Valmoria stressed that they have been running after the group after it had been linked to several robbery and kidnapping incidents in the province over the past six months.

He said the group was allegedly behind the series of hold-up incidents on several LBC branches, other establishments and recently, on the Bachelor Express bus travelling the national highway.

Valmoria also accused the group of kidnapping two Chinese nationals last September 15.

Supt. Martin Gamba, PNP-Caraga information officer, said the joint police operation was headed by Chief Insp. Nilo Texon, chief of the San Francisco police station.

The other units involved were the 131st Regional Public Safety Company, the Provincial Public Safety Company, the Agusan del Sur Personal Protection Order tracker teams, and the province’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Perez was captured along with 20-year old Jerome Palay, Gamba said.

A few hours after their arrest, operatives also collared a certain Ricardo, the group’s alleged coddler, and Abas Baute, aka the Engineer, at Purok 4A, Barangay 5 in San Francisco town at around 5:30 a.m., Gamba said.

Seized from the suspects were an M-16 Armalite rifle, magazines and ammunitions, two motorcycles and mobile phones, he added.

Moments later, another member of the group, Rolando Enggaling, aka Dodong Sabas, was arrested while he was walking along Maharlika Highway, near the San Francisco MPS, Gamba said.

On Thursday at around 9:30 p.m., Gally Batas Margana , aka Gagay, and Marlon Saroos Ginsod were arrested after a firefight with policemen.

Ondo Perez has been accused for the 2009 kidnapping of 79 people, including teachers and schoolchildren, in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

Dodong Sabas, together with Ken-ken Perez, was allegedly involved in taking 16 hostages on April 1, 2011, also in Prosperidad town, to demand then the release of Ondo Perez from prison. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)