6 ‘hired guns’ of Batangas politician fall in NBI raid

Aie Balagtas See, Arnell Ozaeta (The Philippine Star) - January 16, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Six suspected hired killers, including a rookie policeman, were arrested after shooting it out with National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents and Air Force personnel during a raid on a corn farm in Calaca, Batangas yesterday.

The group allegedly worked for a losing mayoral bet in Nasugbu who took “contracts” for their hit jobs.

Now in NBI custody are PO1 Wilfredo Pagkalinawan, 33, who belongs to the Calaca town police; Narciso Manalo, 43; Ronaldo Rubion, 20; Chris Pagkalinawan, 18; and a 16-year-old suspect.

Seized from Pagkalinawan’s house were a Baby Armalite, a .45-caliber pistol, and a shotgun.

The raiding team was headed toward the house of Pagkalinawan’s brother Talim when shots rang out from the policeman’s bungalow, forcing the NBI and Air Force men to shoot back.

No one was wounded in the 30-minute firefight, although NBI-Calabarzon special investigator Leonel Nuesa nearly got hit as bullets rained on the tree where he sought cover.

The six suspects were eventually cornered and arrested. Pagkalinawan’s brother, armed with a .45-caliber pistol, managed to escape through the back door of his house and his pursuers lost track of him after a running gun battle in the cornfield.  

A search of Talim’s house yielded a magazine for .45 caliber, a gun holster, and several grams of shabu. A grenade was found tucked in his bamboo gate.

The Pagkalinawan brothers allegedly worked for former councilor and losing mayoral bet Lerma Limbok of Nasugbu, who authorities tried to arrest but failed.

Limbok allegedly took “contracts” for the Pagkalinawans’ group and allegedly had a “killing field” in Sitio Loob, which NBI agents, along with an informant, were trying to verify as of press time.

In simultaneous raids in Nasugbu, NBI agents arrested councilors Jie Perno and Etok Limboc, who yielded a shotgun and a .22 caliber, respectively.

The NBI agents also swooped down on the houses of councilors Rene Rabasio and Carpo Gonzales but failed to find any guns. – With Ed Amoroso

AIR FORCE BABY ARMALITE CALACA CHRIS PAGKALINAWAN JIE PERNO AND ETOK LIMBOC LEONEL NUESA LERMA LIMBOK OF NASUGBU NARCISO MANALO NASUGBU PAGKALINAWAN
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