A kidnap suspect, who has a pending arrest warrant for rape, died yesterday in a shootout with policemen in Brgy. Tampalon, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
The brief gunbattle ensued after the suspect Ricar Loberas, whose arrest warrant was issued by Kabankalan Regional Trial Court Judge Rodney Bolunia, reportedly opened fire at the operatives of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group, assisted by the local police and troopers of the 2nd Provincial Mobile Group, who were about to serve the arrest warrant to him.
Loberas died on the spot, Lt. Col. Rose Mary Salve Pico, officer-in-charge of the Kabankalan City Police Station, said in her report to the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office.
Policemen recovered a FEG 9mm pistol with five live ammunition and four empty shell, a .38 caliber revolver with three live bullets and as well as three empty shells, an improvised tooter with two small sachets containing suspected shabu, an aluminum foil, and a magazine of 9mm pistol also loaded with ammunition.
After he was released from the National Bilibid Prison, Loberas, according to the police, organized a group, whose members are linked to a series of burglaries in Negros Occidental.
The police also tagged Loberas as the mastermind in the kidnapping of a woman, whom he brought to his residence in Brgy. Tampalon, Kabankalan City. The kidnap victim was later released, after paying ransom money, investigations of the Kabankalan police showed.
But the family of the victim, whose identity is being withheld, did not press charges against Loberas and his group, for fear of reprisal.*
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