AT LEAST 21 individuals, including suspected judge killers, a police trainee and a soldier, were nabbed in what has been described as a criminal haven in Taguig City (Metro Manila) on Sunday.
Police identified two of those arrested as Jose Cabeza and Noel Ismael, the alleged hit men who killed Cagayan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Andres Cipriano in 2010.
Cabeza was said to be a leader of a gun-for-hire syndicate who has pending arrest warrants for murder, frustrated murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Also collared were Wilson Polo, another leader of a gun-for-hire group; Eugene Arreglado, a trainee of National Capital Region (Metro Manila) Police Office (NCRPO) and Private First Class Philip Abad of the 51st Army Brigade.
Armed with search warrants issued by Judge Lorifel Lacap Pahimna of the Taguig RTC Branch 69, joint teams from Taguig police, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), NCRPO and Highway Patrol Group conducted a raid on seven houses in Barangay Pinagsama around 2 a.m.
The raid was launched after the CIDG received a tip that Cabeza’s group was maintaining a drug den in the area.
Authorities seized five firearms, three M203 grenades, three hand grenades, assorted ammunition and magazines, at least 100 grams of shabu worth P600,000 and drug paraphernalia.
Aside from the existing cases faced by some of the suspects, the rest of those arrested will be charged for drug possession and illegal possession of firearms.