Village in Malabon a haven for hired killers?
Ramil Bajo, Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) - July 26, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A ranking police official yesterday confirmed that they are monitoring members of a gun-for-hire group based in a  village in Malabon City.

“Every time we follow leads on certain killings, we end up in Malabon,” the source, an intelligence officer, told The STAR.

Located in Barangay Tonsuya in Letre, the more than 50-hectare Paradise Village, or Paraiso to residents, is home to thousands of informal settlers coming from different parts of the country.

The source said at least five suspects in the killings of nine barangay officials in Caloocan City last year have addresses within the village.

At least seven barangay councilors and two chairmen were killed in a span of eight months in Caloocan last year, sowing fear among barangay officials identified with the incumbent mayor.

Some ambushes in neighboring Navotas and Valenzuela cities were also attributed to contract killers in Malabon.

Malabon police chief Senior Superintendent Severino Abad Jr. would not divulge the results of their investigation on several ambushes and attempts on the life of some government officials, the latest of which was the attempt on a former barangay chairman, but some of his men believe that the perpetrators are holed up inside Paradise Village.

Even Policarpio Ombas, Barangay Tonsuya chairman, was not spared by the contract killers as he and his driver were attacked in February. Ombas survived the ambush.

The source said the masterminds behind every killing are mostly politicians who can afford to pay the assassins.

“Sometimes the pay-off amounts to hundreds of thousands and sometimes it can go as low as P10,000, depending on the personality they want to liquidate,” he said.

He said the hired guns would not hesitate to shoot it out with authorities if cornered. He added that it will not be easy for the police to operate and ferret out the known bailiwicks of the suspects because the area is a labyrinth where operatives can be reduced to sitting ducks during a firefight.

“It’s like a labyrinth. You need more than a thousand men to cordon the area during an actual Lambat-Sibat (anti-crime) operation,” the source said.

Paradise Village can be accessed from Barangay Catmon and Barangay Tugatog on the east, and through a cemetery on the north.

ACIRC BARANGAY BARANGAY CATMON AND BARANGAY TUGATOG BARANGAY TONSUYA CALOOCAN CITY EVEN POLICARPIO OMBAS MALABON MALABON CITY NAVOTAS AND VALENZUELA PARADISE VILLAGE SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT SEVERINO ABAD JR.
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