‘Robbery gang leader’ arrested
Ni Bryner L. Diaz, Gregg Rubio (The Freeman) - January 25, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - After three weeks of continuous surveillance the alleged leader of the Sumabong-Ancero criminal gang was arrested in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Malingin, Bogo City, yesterday morning by the Provincial Intelli-gence Branch, the Provincial Investi-gation and Detection Management Branch and the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group.

Senior Police Officer 1 Renante Solante said that the elusive criminal gang leader Joel Sumabong, 41, was arrested yesterday in his multicab allegedly while on his way to distribute drugs and collect payments.

“Nagsakyanan ni sila, kay padulong na maglibod, mangolekta, reported na siya every Saturday mangolekta unya mobalik every Sunday,” Solante said.

Solante said that the suspect was arrested with his wife Benjie Sumabong, 36, his son Jovy Sumabong, 18 and his underlings, Lowie Ortega, 18 and a 17-year-old boy inside the multicab. Sumabong did not resist arrest.

Solante said policemen had to take up positions at night time for them not to be noticed by Sumabong.

“Wala gyud mi tulog gyud, nag-initiate mi sa lugar gabii para dili mabantayan, at least sucessful,” Solante said. 

The police confiscated six large packs of suspected shabu worth P649,000; two .45 cal. pistol with 28 rounds, one of which is a government model; a .357 cal. revolver with four live rounds; a .38 cal. revolver with  three live rounds, and a fragmentation grenade. The suspect’s multicab was also confiscated.

Police hold Sumabong responsible for the robbery of the Land Bank of the Philippines Bogo Branch in August 2005 and the strafing incident in Bogo City that injured SPO4 Constantino Cueva in 2013.

His group is also being blamed for several shooting incidents and other robberies in northern Cebu, Solante added.

Solante said they also confirmed that the suspect is a Level 2 drug pusher and operates in Bogo City, but the extent of his operation reaches the neighboring municipalities.

Solante added that Sumabong has several cases pending before the courts in Cebu and is out on bail. Some of these cases were alleged dropped due to lack of interest on the part of the victims. But with the amount of the drugs confiscated and the fragmentation grenade Solante said he is sure Sumbaong cannot post bail.

Bogo City Mayor Celestino “Junie” Martinez Jr. lauded the police for arresting Sumabong.

“Finally, I hope nga ma-lessen na gyud ang illegal drugs sa norte ug sa Bogo,” Martinez said.

Martinez considers Sumabong a big-time drug supplier considering the amount of drugs confiscated during the buy-bust operations.

“Supplier gyud na siya, kung imong tan-awon ang picture sa evidence, worth P200,000 na sa pagkadakop lang na, I think nakahug nana siya sa laing lugar,” he said.

Martinez said the city may reward and commend the policemen. City Councilor Cresencio “Cres” Verdida and barangay captains Allan Araneta of Banban and Marilyn Caluidkid of Malingin, respectively, witnessed the inventory of the evidence. —/BRP (FREEMAN)

ALLAN ARANETA OF BANBAN AND MARILYN CALUIDKID OF MALINGIN BARANGAY MALINGIN BENJIE SUMABONG BOGO CITY BOGO CITY MAYOR CELESTINO CEBU CITY COUNCILOR CRESENCIO CONSTANTINO CUEVA SOLANTE SUMABONG
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