Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit-suspect in mentor’s slay falls

December 07, 2018

MERCEDES, Camarines Norte -- A member of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) under the Army’s 9th Infantry Division is now facing murder charges for the slaying of Jefferson Lopez, a public school teacher of Hinapaan Elementary School in this municipality.

A report from the Mercedes Municipal Police Station said the suspect, identified as Gilbert Tablong Balte, 23, of Purok 3, Bgy. Hinapaan, this town, had been evading authorities for over a month.

Balte was nabbed by local police operatives in Bgy. 5, this town, on the strength of a warrant for murder issued by Judge Arnel A. Dating, of Regional Trial Court Branch 41, of Daet, Camarines Norte, dated Nov. 26 this year.

Balte, the no. 1 most wanted of Mercedes MPS, was arrested by joint members of the local MPS and the 22nd Infantry Battalion of the Army’s 9th ID.

Reportedly, Balte used an M-16 rifle in shooting to death the public school teacher on a motive of vengeance. Another person in the company of Lopez was also wounded in the shooting incident in October this year.

Another most wanted in Basud town, identified as Bernie Balane Villamar, 26, also fell into the hands of joint Basud MPS and PNP intel operatives at Purok 2, Bgy. Taba-Taba.

Villamar was nabbed on the strength of a warrant for two counts of frustrated murder issued by Judge Roberto A. Escaro, of RTC Branch 38 in Daet, with a recommended bail of P200,000.