6 suspected gun-for-hire members nabbed

By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog

Posted at Jun 10 2014 03:00 PM | Updated as of Jun 11 2014 01:15 AM

CAMP MIGUEL MALVAR, Batangas (UPDATED) - Six alleged members of a gun-for-hire group were arrested in a police checkpoint operation in San Juan town on Monday evening.

Batangas Police Director Sr. Supt. Omega Jireh Fidel identified the suspects as Romeo Alcazar, Enerico Ricafort, Redentor Coratchea, Nomeriano de Rama, Neil Ian Lualhati and Arturo Magnaye, all residents of Candelaria, Quezon.

Fidel said the suspects, who are remnants of the disbanded Batang Kubo gun-for-hire group in San Juan, are members of the newly-formed Boy Bata gun-for-hire syndicate based in Candelaria, Quezon.

According to San Juan Police Chief Insp. Pablo Aguda Jr., the suspects were on board a Toyota Hi-Ace van (VCN-398) when they were flagged down at a checkpoint in Barangay Calubcub 1st at around 7:30 p.m.

Upon inspection, police found two .45-caliber pistols, a .38-caliber revolver, a 9mm pistol, a .40-caliber pistol, and ammunition inside the vehicle.

Aguda said the suspects failed to present pertinent papers for the firearms recovered from them.

"Nandito sila sa San Juan matapos silang i-recruit umano ng mga illegal settlers sa Sitio Balacbacan, Barangay Laiya para ipanglaban sa napipintong demolition sa lugar," Aguda said.

Police, however, have yet to validate if the suspects were involved in the recent killings in Batangas.

Cases of illegal possession of firearms will be filed against the suspects, who are now detained at San Juan police station.