Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, January 12, 2009

Suspects in FHM model’s slay nabbed

MANILA, Philippines - Five suspects of a notorious robbery group believed to be behind the murder of a model for a men's magazine and three others have been arrested in the province of Rizal, a police official said.

Benny Crisologo alias David Guerrero, Angelito Reyes, Jerry Ugtuhan, Ernesto Ruperto Jr., and Edwin Ruperto, all members of “Sako gang” were arrested last Thursday by Rizal police in a shanty area at E. Ragas Street, Pateros, said Chief Superintendent Perfecto Palad, regional director of police regional office 4-A.

FHM model Scarlet Garcia and three others were murdered in Olongapo City last March 2008.

Aside from the five, Alvin Ugtuhan and Ariel Samonte were also arrested. The two were allegedly “cohorts” of the suspects, Palad said.

The suspects' modus operandi includes placing stolen goods inside a sack and then hiding the it inside wooden pushcarts to escape police checkpoints.

Crisologo was the alleged leader of the robbery group and has a standing warrant of arrest issued last July 2008 by Judge Adelaida Ala-Medina, Branch 45 of the San Fernando regional trial court.

Crisologo is also co-accused in the murder of Garcia, as well as several other crime incidents.

The group was also believed to have been involved in a number of robbery cases in Central Luzon, Metro Manila, and Southern Tagalog.

In April, two suspects were arrested and police declared the case of Garcia as closed.

The robbery group was also believed to have been responsible in other crime incidents, including robbery and rape un February 2008 in Dinalupihan, Bataan; and robbery with multiple rape in Villa Corazon, San Fernando, Pampanga in April 2008, Palad said.

Palad said he has directed Senior Superintendent Ireneo Dordas, Rizal provincial police chief, to file charges of robbery, hold-up with double frustrated homicide and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition against the arrested suspects.

He lso directed Dordas to coordinate with concerned police stations of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and Central Luzon for the filing of cases against the group for robbery hold up, murder, rape with homicide and other violent crimes committed in these areas.

All arrested suspects will also be required to undergo drug testing, Palad said.

--By Abigail Kwok - INQUIRER

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