Leyte Samar Daily Express
Based on police reports and other documents obtained from Police Chief Insp. Edwin Barbosa, community relation officer in Camp Asidillo, as early as Sept. 3, ESPPO had already received information from PRO-8 that a robbery hold-up gang was about to strike a robbery hold-up at the LBC Borongan branch located at the basement of the Uptown Mall in Brgy. Songco, this city. Immediately the city police was alerted and intensive surveillances were conducted and checkpoints were established on strategic entry and exit points by the provincial police, the report said.
Meanwhile, at the LBC Borongan branch, an employee, who declined to be named, told Leyte Samar Daily Express said that on Sept. 4 , three persons, two men and a woman, went to LBC in the morning to send a “padala.” After the three had left another two men entered and sent another padala and after the two men let another two entered and acted suspiciously. One started asking questions about their operations and even ventured to peek inside their booth. But the timely arrival of a policeman from the city PNP prompted the two me to leave immdiately, the source said.
But before that incident the LBC branch in Tacloban City had already alerted them that the its branch here in Borongan could be the next target of the robberyhold-up gang after it had victimized their branches in Catarman, Tacloban and Naval in Biliran and a non-government organization office in Calubian,Leyte. One of the six men captured by the close circuit surveillance camera provided to them by the LBC appeared as one of those who entered their office, the source said.
On Sept. 6, at around 11:27 a.m. at an established check-point by the ESPPO in Brgy. Bato, this city, seven police men led by PO1 Aldo Mendiola flagged down two vehicles loaded with armed men. One vehicle, an SUV Nissan black Safari with Plate No. TKJ-989 was driven by Jose Paulo Raymund Arrieta Cruz, 30, single and on board were Julius Macabontoc Andallo, 25, married, both residents of La Loma, Quezon City while the other vehicle is a Hyundai Starex van, silver in color with Plate No. WFF-394 driven by Rodmanric Relenas y Bernardino, 34, resident of Bagong Ilog, Pasig City and on board were Danilo Blanque Padilla Jr., 38, and Novo Ian Gabriel Galanto, 31, all residents of La Loma, Quezon City.
Upon visual searches by the PNP, the group yielded several firearms which include one Taurus, cal. 40 with one magazine and 14 ammunitions; .45 with two magazines and 21 ammunitions; One Glock, caliber 40 with 5 magazines and 90 ammunitions; one Millienum Taurus, caliber .45 with two magazines with 20 ammunitions; 4 pieces bullet-proof vests, among others.
Due to the inability of the suspects to present any document authorizing them to carry firearms and pending further verifications from Camp Crame of their firearms and vehicles used, the PNP arrested and detained them at the provincial jail.
A case of illegal possession of firearms under PD1866 as amended by RA 8294 were filed against the suspects.
Meanwhile, in relation to the attempted robbery hold-up at the LBC Borongan Branch, a team led by senior officers of the provincial police arrested two suspects believed to be members of the Arrieta holdup gang in Brgy. Balud, Borongan last Sept. 8 at 5 p.m.
They were identified as Rommel Catubay, 29, married, a truck driver and Ruel Busa , 23, married, a laborer and both residents of Brgy. Omawas, Maydolong, Eastern Samar. Initial police investigations revealed that the said team received an information that the two were seen at Brgy. Balud with short firearm. Upon arrival at the scene, the police officers saw that the two were about to leave with motorcyce without a plate number.Confiscated from them were one unit Colt 45 with loaded with five ammunitions ;one Smith & Wesson cal. 38 without loaded with five ammunitions. Both suspects are now detained at the provincial jail. (PIO L. CALVO)