CAMP MALVAR, Batangas City – Three armed men were killed in a shootout with policemen in Barangay Mahabang Dahilig of Lemery town at dawn Tuesday.
The fatalities were wanted in connection with an earlier shooting incident in nearby Balayan town. They are also believed to be behind the killing of SPO1 Roderick Botavara November last year.
Senior Supt. Edwin A. Quilates, Batangas police provincial director, identified the three men as Roberto Credito Apego, 52, of Jamaica Subdivision in Barangay Caloocan, Balayan town; Alexander Catubigan Canonoy, 35, of Barangay Wawa in Nasugbu town and Rafael Cabrera Montes, 29, resident of Barangay Hukay in Calatagan town, all in Batangas.
Quilates said an “iron curtain” operation was launched by joint personnel of the Lemery police and the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit-Provincial Intelligence Branch (PDEU-PIB) at around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday in an effort to capture the suspects, who were reportedly fleeing aboard motorcycles.
As they drove towards Lemery, the suspects reportedly drove past policemen who were in the area for another operation. Said cops promptly gave chase but were fired upon by the suspects.
The three gunmen were eventually killed in the shootout.
Investigators recovered from the scene a STI .45-caliber pistol, a Colt .45-caliber pistol and an Ingram 9mm submachine gun, together with live ammunition as well as spent ammunition cases.
Also recovered were two motorcycles -- a black Yamaha SZ-R and a black Honda TMX Supremo, both without plate numbers.
The suspects’ remains were brought to Anter’s Funeral Parlor in Barangay Palanas, Lemery for autopsy. (Jojo C. Magsombol/PNA)