[LIPA CITY] Police file rap vs Western Union robbery suspect

LIPA CITY – The Lipa City Police Station has filed charges before the Batangas Provincial Prosecutors Office against one of the three suspects who was accused of robbing at gunpoint the Western Union Money Remittance Center at JP Laurel Highway in Mataas na Lupa here on Sunday.

Supt. Jacinto Malinao, Lipa City police chief, said they have filed charges of robbery and illegal possession of firearms against the suspect identified as Niño Basilan alias Banni on March 5.

His companion Arnel de las Alas who was also arrested in the police operation, was likewise charged with illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives.

Joint elements of the Lipa City Police Station, San Juan Police Station, Provincial Intelligence Branch and Provincial Public Safety Company of the Batangas Police Provincial Office had arrested in a follow-up operation Basilan inside his residence at Barangay Paling-owak, San Juan town on Tuesday.

Malinao said they were able to identify the suspect after Western Union’s security guard Junie Gerna positively identified him after a gallery presentation of photos of wanted criminals as the man who allegedly poked a gun at him, disarmed him and along with two other cohorts robbed the money remittance center P307,000 cash and other foreign curriencies.

Western Union teller Kenneth Altamirano was also robbed of his personal belongings such as P1,200 cash and I-pad charger.

Police said they recovered from Basilan and De Las Alas’ possession one Glock 22 caliber 40 pistol, a magazine loaded with nine ammunitions, and two hand grenades.

Further police investigation revealed that the suspect Basilan has pending cases of robbery and grave threat and was a member of the notorious Batang Kubo gang – a robbery and gun-for-hire group operating in Calabarzon.

Both suspects are currently detained at the Lipa City Police Station.

Meanwhile, the police continue with their man-hunt operations on two other suspects who escaped after the said robbery.