BALUNGAO -- A suspected member of the Pine-Bonete Group was arrested Friday noon by combined police elements while transporting a caliber .45 gun.

The suspect was identified as Armando Flores, 40, of Barangay San Agustin, San Manuel town in Tarlac province.

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Police Superintendent Romeo Caramat Jr., Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPPO) Intelligence branch chief, said Flores has two cases pending in Pangasinan.

Accordingly, Flores was involved in a robbery hold-up incident that transpired on May 2, 2009 at Barangay Puelay, Villasis town. The victim thereat was identified as a certain Mylene Bascos of Barangay Lipay, Villasis.

Flores was also allegedly involved in the killing of late San Manuel (Tarlac) Liga ng mga Barangay President Datio Tabugan. He was killed on May 7, 2008 at Barangay Carmen West, Rosales, Pangasinan.

Caramat said the capture of Flores was a product of a weeklong surveillance operation conducted by the joint elements of the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1) Regional Intelligence Division, the Regional Intelligence Office 1, the Pangasinan Provincial Intelligence Branch, and the Balungao Police Station.

Flores was collared about 12 noon on January 8 along the national road at Barangay San Aurelio 1st here.

He was on board a motorized tricycle (the motorcycle with plate number 2189 CU and sidecar bearing SM Toda N-010) with his brother and two sons.

The police monitored to him to be delivering several firearms of unknown caliber to an alleged buyers at the said barangay.

The hot pursuit started when he allegedly sensed that they are being tailed by several vehicles, which turned out to be that of the police elements.

Seized from his possession is a Remington Caliber .45 bearing serial number with one magazine, accordingly, he failed to present to the arrested policemen necessary documents covering the gun he was carrying.

Caramat said the Pine-Bonete Group is included under the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) OB-listed criminal gangs engaged gun-for-hire, robbery, hold-up, carnaping and gunrunning activities operating in Eastern Pangasinan and at the nearby municipalities of Tarlac and Nueva Ecija provinces.

A case of violation of Republic Act 8294 is being readied for filing in court.

PRO1 Director Constante Azares Jr. commended the operating elements for the accomplishment, even as he urged all PRO1 personnel to do their share in the intensified campaign against private armed groups. (LCMY/Sunnex)