Ex-cop accused of ordering hit jobs arrested in Pangasinan — PNP
MANILA, Philippines — A former police officer who was accused of leading a gun-for-hire group for high-profile customers was arrested in Pangasinan over the weekend, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.
In a report, the PNP identified the dismissed cop as former Lt. Col. Wilson Magpali, who was arrested by operatives from the Luzon Field Unit of the PNP’s Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) in Tayug town of Pangasinan.
An operation was mounted to subdue Magpali after police secured an arrest warrant from the Regional Trial Court Branch 28 of San Fernando City in La Union for the crime of murder. No bail has been recommended.
Recovered from Magpali, believed to be the leader of the group dubbed as the Magpali Gun for Hire Criminal Group, are one 9mm caliber Beretta Pistol marked with serial number M14880Z and three magazines with live bullets.
The pistol bore markings of the PNP.
Magpali had previously surrendered to the PNP, during the term of former PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar last July 2021, after tracker teams pursued him. During that time, Eleazar said Magpali surrendered to clear his name, after he was accused of leading the Magpali Gun for Hire Criminal Group — blamed for the spate of political killings in La Union and the rest of Ilocos Region.
Magpali insisted that he was not the leader of the said group, and requested that he be placed under the custody of the PNP Intelligence Group while a probe was ongoing, saying that he feared for his life.
PNP chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said that the arrest of the former police officer is proof of the tracker teams’ ability to trace down people wanted by the courts.
“This is yet another significant development in the PNP’s massive tracker operations against fugitive criminals,” he said.
“As we are making great strides in weeding out police ‘scalawags’ in the organization, let us remain steadfast in hunting down notorious criminals with outstanding warrants as we boost the government’s campaign for criminal justice,” he added.
Magpali’s name made its way to headlines in 2021 after a lawmaker claimed that the former cop was behind a failed assassination attempt on her life.
Former La Union lawmaker Sandra Eriguel raised concerns before about the Magpali gun-for-hire group as she believed it may be used for the 2022 elections.
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