Police arrest officer behind kidnapping gone wrong in southern Luzon
APOLICE officer was arrested on Wednesday, April 11, after he was tagged as an adviser and among the financiers of a kidnapping incident that led to the killing of five suspected kidnappers and one police officer.
Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) director Glen Dumlao identified the police officer as Senior Police Officer 2 Leo Leal Pamonag who is assigned at the Police Regional Office 4A, Santa Rosa Police Station in Laguna.
“Siya ‘yung adviser nito kasi unang-una kababayan niya si Ricky Barrios (na leader) nitong grupo na ito. Itong uniform siya nakaisip ng mga uniporme, bala, baril siya nagbigay. And then siya pa kumukuha ng mga target ng HVT (high-value target). Kung may HVT ire-raid nila ‘yun, nagpapanggap sila na kung hindi pulis, PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) agent, lahat,” he said.
Dumlao said Pamonag was implicated in the kidnapping of high-value target Ronaldo Arguelles, who was abducted in Candelaria, Quezon province by Glen Tancongco and Lalaine Barrios, members of the Ricky Barrios kidnapping group, Monday.
The incident led to a car chase and shootout that resulted in the killing of five kidnappers, who were clad in police uniforms along Maharlika Highway in San Pablo City, Laguna, on Tuesday, April 10.
Four of the slain abductors were identified as Juan Singabor, Jairo Olegario Kent Lim and Marcelino Sicon. The fifth remained unidentified.
Police Officer 1 Sarah Jane Andal was also killed during the operation while three officers - identified as Police Officer (PO) 1 January Mendoza, PO1 Jeffrey Orlanes and PO1 Jun-jun Villaflor - were wounded.
A bystander, Sebastian Manalo, was also wounded. “Nakakalungkot nga, pinagkanulo niya kapwa pulis niya sinisira pa niya ang institution kung saan doon siya nabubuhay. Ang laki na ng sweldo niya, tapos may namatay pa na kapwa pulis. Nasaan na konsiyensya (niya),” said Dumlao.
Arguelles was in critical condition after the incident.
Tancongco and Lalaine Barrios were arrested in a follow-up operation.
Dumlao said the motive of the kidnapping was to get back at Arguelles who is working for the arrest of drug distributors under his cousin Boyet Arguelles, who allegedly oversees Barrios’ illegal drugs business.
“Pinahuli ni Ronaldo ‘yung mga distributor, pusher ni Boyet nila Ricky. So sabi ni Boyet kailangan bawian si Ronaldo at napagplanuhan nila na kidnapin si Ronaldo,” he said.
“Main motive ng grupo ni Ricky pag target sa mga HVT at di lang si Ronaldo may alam sila na mga drug pusher gagawan nila ng boodle money. Ini-escortan sila ni Pamonag kaya walang magawa kinukuha inaagaw (shabu at pera)...at kung may may kotse o ari-arian deed of sale kaagad,” Dumlao added.
Dumalo said Barrios is leading the group while inside the Quezon jail. He is facing murder and illegal possession of firearms charges after being involved in a gun-for-hire group.
He said Pamanog was found to have been frequently calling Barrios inside the jail.
“At ang involvement niya, deeply involved siya dito kasi naiistorbo ang kanilang distribution nets sa Candelaria sa Quezon kaya they hatched the kidnapping of Ronaldo,” said Dumlao.
Dumlao said investigation on the incident, particularly the identification of other suspects, is still ongoing.