MANILA — A police officer arrested for his alleged participation in the kidnapping of a high-value target drug personality in San Pablo City, Laguna earlier this week had also been reportedly acting as a cohort of a drug lord from Iloilo, who is operating from behind bars, a police official said.
Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao, chief of the Philippine National Police-Anti Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG), told reporters Wednesday that SPO2 Leo Pamunag, is the right-hand man of Ricky Barrios, a drug lord presently detained at the Quezon Provincial Jail.
Pumanog and Barrios were both from Passi, Iloilo.
The Pamunag-Barrios connection was uncovered following the arrest of the driver of the Isuzu Sportivo used by the kidnappers in abducting another suspected drug lord, Ronald Arguelles, who was in a turf war over drug sales with Barrios and Pamunag.
Lalaine Barrios, Ricky’s sister and girlfriend of Kent Lim, one of those who died in the bloody encounter on Monday, also shed light on the internal power struggle for the trade in illegal drugs in Candelaria as well as other places in Quezon.
Police officials said it was Pamunag who supplied camo-pattern uniforms to the kidnappers who pretended to be members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and who demanded PHP800,000 from Arguelles in exchange for the dropping of charges.
A rescue operation by the PNP-AKG and elements of the Laguna police resulted in a firefight at Maharlika Highway, San Pablo on Tuesday morning and ended with the death of five kidnappers.
Unfortunately, PO1 Ma. Zara Andal, who was part of the rescue team died on the way to the hospital.
PO1 January De Ramos Menfroza and PO1 Jun-Jun Jabola Villaflor, who were also part of the Candeleria police responding to the incident, were injured but are now in stable condition.
The Laguna police have identified the slain suspects as Juan Vicente Singabor, who wore a police uniform with a patch pretending to be P02 Rebadulla; Jairo Olegario a.k.a P03 Dizon, both from Sauyo Road, Novaliches Quezon City; Kent Padernal Lim; Marcelino Sican a.k.a Daluz and another who remained unidentified.
Authorities are presently searching for Camille Luisiges, allegedly a girlfriend of the incarcerated drug lord. Benjamin Pulta/PNA-northboundasia.com