Over 50 tagged in heinous crimes arrested in January—CIDG
MANILA, Philippines—More than 50 persons suspected of heinous crimes were arrested in separate operations by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police as part of a nationwide drive against fugitives dubbed Oplan “Pagtugis (Hunt).”
The CIDG said it arrested 243 wanted persons in January, 56 of them suspects in grave crimes, including two members of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Sonny Bakim Barahim, alias Abu Ismael of Isabela City, and Harun Jaljalis, alias Abu Indal of Basilan, who carried a P350,000 bounty.
CIDG director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. said the multiple arrests were in line with the marching orders of PNP Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome to arrest more wanted persons every month.
Among the high-profile arrests in January were Ceferino Atienza, alias Dimas, leader of the Dimas gun-for-hire group wanted for the murder of a councilman in Sto. Tomas, Batangas in 2009; Rodel Ledesma, leader of a kidnapping-for-ransom group responsible for the abduction of a businessman in Imus, Cavite; and Joseph Enriquez, listed as the No. 10 most wanted in Teresita, Batangas for child abuse.
Also arrested were Ernel Merillo, listed as No. 3 most wanted in San Francisco, Quezon for rape; Erick Dino of Maragondon, Cavite, wanted for three counts of murder and frustrated murder; Christopher Javier, Servando Nones and Guillermo Nones, all of Tanauan City, Batangas for car theft and attempted murder; and Joseph Baral of Nasugbu, Batangas, wanted for murder.
The CIDG also arrested a Korean, Song Byung Hoon, 43, who was wanted for estafa, on Jan. 20 in Sitio Nagpayong, Barangay Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City.
Pagdilao said the CIDG’s success in accounting for most wanted persons showed the group’s efforts to forge a strong partnership with the community in the battle against crime. He added that most of the fugitives had been apprehended with the support of the community.
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