END OF THE ROAD. Bulacan policemen examine the area where three suspected hired guns were killed after engaging a joint team of policemen and soldiers in a shootout at Barangay Camias, San Miguel, Bulacan Sunday (Sept. 27, 2020). The slain suspects reportedly operate as hired guns in Central Luzon. (Photo courtesy of 2nd Bulacan Police Mobile Force Company)

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan – Three alleged gun-for-hire members operating in Central Luzon were killed in an armed encounter with a joint police and military team in Barangay Camias, San Miguel, this province on Sunday afternoon.

Lt. Col. Rizalino Andaya, commander of the 2nd Bulacan Police Mobile Force Company (BPMFC), said on Monday that one of the fatalities was identified as Gilbert Mondares.

Two of their companions eluded arrest.

Andaya said based on the intelligence reports, Mondares has a standing warrant of arrest for violation of Republic Act 8294, the law against illegal possession of firearms, issued by Judge Celso Baguio of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Gapan City Branch 36.

He said the suspect, together with four companions, were spotted in San Miguel town on board a red Nissan Urvan with license plate NOJ-446 heading towards the town proper.

Combined elements of the 2nd BPMFC, San Miguel police and the First Scout Ranger Regiment of the Philippine Army immediately set up a checkpoint along Cagayan Valley Road in Barangay Camias to serve the warrant of arrest against Mondares.

"Upon seeing the checkpoint, the suspects stopped and scampered to different directions," Andaya said.

The police and Army personnel engaged the suspects in a gunfight that eventually led to the neutralization of three of them while their two other companions were able to escape by running toward Barangay San Vicente.

Recovered from the encounter site were a .45-caliber pistol, M16 rifle, .38-caliber revolver, sketches/plan (written in yellow paper), hand grenade and three 9mm fired cartridge cases.

"Patuloy ang isinasagawa naming imbestigasyon upang matukoy ang pangalan ng dalawa pang napatay na suspek at pagkakilanlan ng dalawang kasamang nakatakas (Investigation is ongoing to determine the identities of the slain suspects and the two others who were able to flee)," Andaya said. (PNA)