A GUNBATTLE broke out between agents of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) and a group of heavily-armed kidnappers and drug traffickers in San Mateo, Rizal early morning yesterday resulting in the death of two suspects, PNP-AKG director, Brigadier General Jonnel C. Estomo said.
In a report to PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the official said his men were about to storm the hideout of the suspects led by Rey Rala in Purok 2, Lower Ambugrao, Buntong Palay in Barangay Silangan, San Mateo, Rizal around 12:30 a.m. yesterday when they were met with heavy gunfire from the occupants of the house.
“Our officers were forced to return fire in self-defense and killed two of the suspects. The others are still being hunted as of press time, Estomo told the Journal Group.
According to the official, PNP-AKG officers led by Colonel Edward Cutiyog, were about to serve a search warrant for violation of RA 10591 issued against Rala by Judge Maria Beatric Caunan of the San Mateo RTC Branch 75 when the suspects shot it out with the lawmen.
The gunbattle resulted in the killing of Rala and Mario Patlingrao alias ‘Melvin.’
Estomo said that the suspects were identified by captured kidnapping-for-ransom suspect Eddie Abad as his cohorts in previous KFR cases in the country.
Abad was arrested by PNP-AKG agents last February 15 on the strength of warrants of arrest for murder and for kidnapping-for-ransom.
Estomo said during questioning, Abad identified Rala and one alias ‘Melvin’ as among his accomplices in the kidnapping-for-ransom of Mareanne dela Rosa in Bgy. Canlalay in Biñan City in Laguna on March 27, 2003.
The kidnappers demanded a P15 million ransom for the safe release of their captive. They eventually freed dela Rosa unharmed although no criminal charges were filed against them.
Estomo said in 2010, the PNP-AKG monitored that the suspects shifted their criminal activities from kidnapping-for-ransom to robbery-holdup, gun-for-hire and illegal drug activities in Metro Manila and other parts of Calabarzon region.
Estomo said recovered during the operation in San Mateo, Rizal were two chamber-loaded caliber 9mm semi-automatic pistols, each with one magazine containing five live ammunition, one 5.56 M-16 A1 Elisco automatic rifle, several live ammunition, eight heat-sealed plastic sachets containing suspected shabu and various drug paraphernalia.