Batangas cops served warrant at 1:30 a.m.

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12:41 AM January 16th, 2013

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January 16th, 2013 12:41 AM

BATANGAS CITY—Policemen who shot and killed a suspected member of a criminal group reportedly maintained by Victor “Vic” Siman had a warrant of arrest against him for illegal possession of firearms.

Senior Supt. Rosauro Acio, provincial police chief, said in an interview Tuesday that Fernando Morales had tried to escape and fired at the lawmen who came to his house in Sitio (sub-village) Cumba, Barangay (village) Lipahan, at 1:30 a.m. The policemen shot back, he said.

The warrant of arrest was dated Sept. 29, 2010, and issued by Judge Noel Lindog of Branch 87 in Rosario town.

Siman, a suspected “jueteng” operator, was among the 13 people slain in Atimonan, Quezon on Jan. 6.

Morales, believed to be a member of the “Batang Kubo” gang, was killed in an alleged shootout with the arresting team in his house in San Juan town in Batangas early Monday.

Scene of the crime operatives (Soco) recovered a .45 cal. automatic at the crime scene.

Asked why the warrant was served just after midnight, Acio said the police had been searching for Morales and had received information that he was in Barangay Lipahan. So, the police went to the place at around 1:30 a.m. to serve the warrant, Acio said.

Supt. Elpidio Ramirez, San Juan police chief, said Morales was protecting a politician from Quezon and was a member of the “Batang Kubo” group, so-called because its members hang out in a nipa hut somewhere in San Juan town.

A police official in Calabarzon, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, confirmed on Monday that Morales was a member of the gun-for-hire group linked to Siman’s illegal gambling and gun-running syndicate.

The Batang Kubo group has eight other members, according to the official.

He said “Coplan Armado” contained a diagram that indicated the link between Batang Kubo and Siman’s group.

In November last year, Nestor Banog Jr., also from San Juan town, was killed in an alleged shootout with policemen. Banog was also listed as a target in Coplan Armado.

Another source, who requested anonymity because of lack of authority to speak to the media, said Morales, 46, aka “Pandoy” was linked to Siman as the former “might have been used by Siman for security reasons.”

The source confirmed that Morales was also a member of a gun-for-hire group and added that there were six private armed groups (PAGs) in Batangas.

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