CAMP VICENTE LIM—A police crackdown on members of a robbery gang believed to be behind the daring operation to free three Chinese drug convicts from their escorts in Trece Martires City in Cavite has reached northern Luzon and yielded four more suspects.
Two of the four arrested are facing inquest proceedings on charges of illegal possession of firearms, while another is the subject of an arrest warrant, said Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo, regional chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the National Capital Region, in a text message to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Fajardo declined to disclose their names so as “not to compromise ongoing operations.”
The Chinese convicts—Li Lan Yan, also known as Jackson Dy, and his wife, Wang Li Na, and Li Tian Hua—were snatched by armed men, believed to belong to the Ozamiz robbery gang, from their jail escorts on Feb. 20 on their way to a court hearing in Trece Martires.
They were arrested and convicted in 2008 after authorities shut down a “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) laboratory in Tanza town, also in Cavite, that was operated by Dy’s group.
Two days after the escape, Cavite police arrested four suspects, identified as Rodel “Gorio” Cambongga, 24; Emiliano Quilicol, 43; Rene “Dodo” Bersales, 33; and Leovino “Nonoy” Fontanilla, 46, a barangay (village) chair in Imus City in Cavite. This led police to other members of the criminal syndicate.
Fajardo on Sunday confirmed the arrest of the four new suspects in an operation in a province in the Cordillera Autonomous Region on March 6. He also declined to say which province.
Despite the arrests, authorities have yet to locate the Chinese convicts. Fajardo described the rescue mission as “compartmentalized” and that the participants knew only part of the entire operation.