MANILA, Philippines - The man who allegedly led a group believed to be responsible for a series of bank and payroll robberies in Metro Manila and other parts of the country is dead, police said yesterday.
Diosdado Alferez, 56, alias Boy Pikot, died of colon cancer in his parents’ house in Tangub City, Misamis Occidental on Feb. 14, according to Senior Superintendent Sotero Ramos Jr., intelligence chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
He said Chief Inspector Joey Ampong, officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Tangub City police, photographed Alferez’s body in the morgue and took his fingerprints for comparison with those in the file of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Superintendent Ronald Lee, chief of the NCRPO’s regional police intelligence and operating unit (RPIOU), said Alferez’s wake was held at his brother’s house before he was buried in Tangub City yesterday.
Ramos said the gang Alferez allegedly headed was reportedly behind bank robberies in Makati in 2003, along Pablo Ocampo street in Manila in 2005 and along Commonwealth Avenue in 2011 as well as a jewelry heist in Davao City in 2008.
However, officials admitted that Alferez’s name is not in the list of those charged for these crimes. Ramos said Alferez was only charged with robbery once and no arrest warrant was issued.
With Alferez’s death, the members of the robbery gang he allegedly led “have lied low for a while,” said Lee, who is closely monitoring crime gangs operating in the metropolis.
The latest incident involving the gang is the killing of an alleged member, Eduardo Nobleza, in a grenade explosion at a safehouse in Natividad Subdivision in Deparo, Caloocan City on Jan. 30.
Alferez and his companions, Jimmy Parame and Jerry dela Cruz, left the safehouse in a Toyota Hi-Ace they commandeered before police officers arrived to arrest them.
The other occupants of the safehouse – registered midwife Nancy Talose, 41, who claimed to be Alferez’s private nurse; and Lovely Porras, babysitter of Talose’s two-year-old son – were brought to the police station for questioning.
Police officers recovered a 12-gauge shotgun, hundreds of live bullets for high-powered guns, hand grenades, handheld radios, assorted license plates, used cartridges, metal spikes, swords and Armed Forces of the Philippines uniforms from the safehouse, officials said.
Connecting the dots
According to a police intelligence report, Alferez was allegedly expelled from the Kuratong Baleleng robbery group due to his association with a political rival of the Parojinog family, whose members reportedly head the group, in Ozamiz City.
In 2003, Alferez reportedly organized his own gang, recruiting most of his members from Lanao and Ozamiz City, according to the report.
He was allegedly able to establish links with some military and police personnel and his group was reportedly financially supported by corrupt politicians and businessmen, enabling them to operate confidently in Metro Manila and other parts of the country, the report stated.
Alferez’s group reportedly trains its recruits in Visayas or Mindanao before sending them to Metro Manila to stage robberies, according to the report.
After an alleged leader of the Ampang-Colangco robbery group was arrested some years ago, at least 30 members of the group – most of them carrying high-powered firearms – merged with Alferez’s group, the report stated.
The merger made the Alferez group “impenetrable” and “difficult to neutralize,” according to the report.