TWO alleged members of a gun-for-hire group who were allegedly hired to kill a police official were arrested Friday afternoon in Malabon City.
Tony Mateo, alias “Pidong”, 47, of Barangay Potrero, and Johnny Salas, 47, native of Masbate and resident of Paradise Village, Letre Road, Brgy. Tonsuya, were arrested at Blk 45 Lot 21, Salmon St. Brgy. Longos.
Police recovered from the suspects a high explosive TriNitroToluene or TNT, time fuse with blasting caps, folding knife and lighter.
Malabon police investigators SPO1 Alexander dela Cruz and PO2 Roldan Angeles said that earlier, Melanie Nierras of Brgy. Longos noticed the presence of the suspects acting suspiciously near her house at around 1:30 p.m., prompting her to seek the assistance of Police Community Precinct (PCP)-3
PO2 Ronnie Perocho and PO1 Claro Amate were dispatched to the area and caught the suspects who were allegedly about to light an explosive.
During interrogation, the suspects admitted to the police that they were hired by a barangay captain, whose name was temporarily withheld, to kill Senior Insp. Bobby Mario Egera, the former head of Malabon Police Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU). Egera has been removed from his post and was reassigned to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) after his men got involved in kidnapping, robbery extortion and carnapping last May.
The suspect said during his stint as the head of Malabon police DEU Egera led his men in raiding the hideout of gun-for-hire group allegedly being headed by the village captain.
However, Salas denied that they are members of a gun-for-hire group and said he only asked Mateo to accompany him to the house of his sister Cora to lend money.
Salas’ allegation was refuted by Egera’s live-in partner Melanie Nierras who told police that she had been noticing the presence of the suspects near their house for several days.