Jul 152013
Convicted members of the Ozamis robbery and hold-up group as well as two Chinese drug traffickers were nabbed by police authorities in two consecutive arrests over the weekend, according to the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Serial bank robbers Ricky Cadavero alias “Kambal” and his accomplice Wilfredo Panogalinga Jr. alias “Kulot” were arrested last Friday at Barangay San Agustin 2, Dasmariñas, Cavite.

Cadavero escaped New Bilibid Prison December last year, while Panogalinga escaped from Ozamis City jail July last year.

Cadavero’s group is linked to various mall and bank robberies in Metro Manila.

Panogalinga is also a key suspect in the shooting and killing of a foreigner during the September 2012 robbery of a 7-11 convenience store in Malate, Manila, police said. He is also responsible for the killing of a security guard in another 7-11 store last December 2012.
In a “24 Oras” report on Monday, both suspects said poverty compelled them to commit crimes.

They were killed Monday night by their police escorts during what police investigators said was an attempt by the Ozamis gang to rescue them.

Meanwhile, convicted drug traffickers and couple Li Lan Yan alias Jackson Dy and Wang Li Na, both of whom escaped the Cavite Provincial Jail last February, were recaptured on Saturday at San Juan City.

The third drug trafficker Li Tian Hua escaped the police’s dragnet operation, and is believed to have fled to China.

Other members of the Ozamis group arrested in Cavite and Batangas were:

Nestor Buenabente alias Moklo,
Rogie Soriano alias Tong
Cesar De Vera alias Cesar
Donde Pedrosa alias Dondon
Alvin Cuyag alias Ben
Dave Clark Lago alias Carlo

Rescued but held captive

Police said the Ozamis group were responsible for the escape of the Chinese drug traffickers, after some of its gunmen snatched the latter from the provincial jail as guards were taking them to a Cavite court last February 20.

However, neither did the robbery group set the drug traffickers free. They demanded P50 million in ransom from the traffickers, which they paid last March, according to the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

The robbery group prevented the recapture of the drug traffickers by law-enforcement authorities, the CIDG’s anti-organized crime division chief senior superintendent Jose Mario Espino said.

Both Cadavero and Panogalinga had denied being involved in the drug traffickers’ rescue.

Port security

The drug traffickers’ abduction raised questions on the security of the ports, as the gangsters managed to travel from Cavite all the way to Mindanao with the captives, police said.

The robbery group and the drug traffickers went to Batangas from Cavite, and traveled via roll-on roll-off (RORO) ship to Mindoro, Panay island, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, before reaching Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental, police said.

“‘Yan ang aalamin namin kung hindi nadedetect or mayroong bang connection sa mga dadaan na sea ports at mga RORO mismo,” CIDG director chief superintendent Francisco Uyami said.

The Chinese drug traffickers claimed they were only brought to Quezon City and Cavite.

Meanwhile, interior and local government secretary Mar Roxas said they would submit recommendations to tighten security in the ports.

“Hindi naman namin gusto pahirapan ng higit ang ating mga kababayan… pero ang importante na itong mga tumatakbo o nagtatago ay mahuli din at matiktikan ng mga awtoridad,” Roxas said.

Earlier, at least 14 suspects believed to be members of Bye-Bye kidnap for ransom group abducted a businesswoman in Quezon City and brought her to Davao City from Sorsogon via RORO.

The victim was rescued in Davao City in an encounter between the suspects and police. Marc Jayson Cayabyab/DVM, GMA News

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