Authorities on Thursday reported that a policeman — who went AWOL and eventually became a criminal gang’s leader — was killed following when he shot it out with lawmen in Lipa City, Batangas, Wednesday night.
Initial reports from the Calabarzon regional police identified the AWOL officer as Anthony Cubos alias “Big Boss,” the alleged leader of the so-called Cubos group involved in kidnapping, robbery/extortion, gun-for-hire and illegal drug activities.
The suspect’s name was also included in President Rodrigo Duterte and the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) national-level drug watchlist of pushers and protectors of illegal drug syndicates.
Members of the city police, backed by other PNP units including police from Valenzuela City and military intelligence operatives, carried out an operation to arrest Cubo around 6 p.m. in Barangay San Francisco.
They were serving an arrest warrant issued by a court in Valenzuela against Cubos for robbery with homicide.
“The suspect fought it out and fired at the arresting personnel after they declared themselves as police officers,” the authorities said, adding that it prompted the lawmen to return fire until Cubos fell.
Meantime, PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar disclosed that Cubos’ case stemmed from an incident where a company messenger was killed and robbed of the large sum of money he was carrying, in Valenzuela last October.
He added that Cubos was tagged as the mastermind of the attack on Nino Luegi Hernando, who was robbed after coming out of a bank with P442,714 cash for company payroll.
Police have already arrested his cohorts Jo-Ann Cabatuan, Edgar Batchar, and Michael Castro, while two others, identified as Rico Reyes alias “Moja,” and Narciso Santiago alias “Tukmol,” remain at-large.