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2 KFR gang members killed in shootout


BY AARON RECUENCO


Anti-kidnapping operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) killed two suspected members of a notorious kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) group in a raid that ended in a shootout in Botolan, Zambales.

Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, director of the PNP-Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG), said those killed were members of the Mokong KFR Group which is also engaged in robbery such as what happened in Taguig City in 2018 when they posed as agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to rob a house.

He identified one of the slain suspects as Michael Corpuz who was tagged as the number one most wanted person of the AKG. The other fatality is yet to be identified.

Col. Villaflor Bannawagan, head of the AKG-Luzon Field Office, said they immediately launched the operation after they were tipped that Corpuz was preparing to conduct a robbery in Zambales.

They then raided Corpuz’s house in Sitio Alao in Barangay San Juan in Botolan town at around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday and resulted in the death of the two.

“When the joint operating troops were about to approach the house being occupied by the suspects to serve their warrant of arrest, they constantly fired upon the approaching troops,” said Bannawagan.

During a background check, AKG spokesman Lt. Col. Ronaldo Lumactod said Corpuz has a number of arrest warrants that include kidnap-for-ransom, carnapping and robbery. The group, he said, used to operate in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

In October last year, Lumactod said two members of the group were killed in Pililia town of Rizal and in December also last year, two more of its members were also killed.

Seized from the area were an M16 rifle, a .45-caliber pistol and two .38-caiber revolvers.

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