CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – A Nueva Ecija-based criminal group was busted by police authorities following the death of its leader and three other members during a brief but fierce shootout along Apalit-Macabebe Road at Barangay Colgante, Apalit, Pampanga dawn Friday.
Senior Supt. Joel Consulta, director of the Pampanga Provincial Police Office, identified the suspect as
Julito Fajardo Basilio of Purok 3, Brgy. Cama Juan, San Antonio, Nueva Ecija, and alleged leader of the dreaeded “Basilio Gang”.
Others were Melchor Cucal Ruiz, of Brgy. Hulo, Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija; Nestor Vargas Estabillo of Brgy. Malaya, Sto Domingo, Nueva Ecija.
One suspect remained unidentified as of press time.
Consulta said Basilio Gang is operating in Nueva Ecija and other parts in Central Luzon. The group was engaged in gun-for-hire, carnapping and illegal drugs activities.
Most of the Basilio Gang members have pending criminal cases in various courts in Cabanatuan City and nearby provinces in the region, it was gathered.
Consulta said the suspects, on board two separate motorcycles, were spotted by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (3CIDU) iand local police n Apalit, Pampanga past 3 a.m. He said the group was about to pull their trade when intercepted by lawmen.
Police said the suspects tried to avoid a police checkpoint by turning back but were pursued by lawmen that ended into a firefight.
Recovered from the crime scene includes caliber .38 revolver, three caliber .45 pistols, three cell phones, and identification cards of slain suspects including PNP ID of PO1 Rustan Cinco.
Police also took into custody a Yamaha MIO motorcycle without license plates, a Yamaha Sniper motorcycle and photo of certain Mayor Arvin Salonga with markings at the back which read “MAYOR ARVIN SALONGA 300K.”
Consulta said investigation in on progress to determine further the involvement of the group in other criminal elements in Pampanga.