ANGELES CITY -- The suspect in the killing and robbery of three foreigners and six local residents is now in the custody of Angeles police after Tuesday's arrest in La Union province.

Police Regional Director Arturo Cacdac Jr. clarified that Mark Dizon was “arrested” and did not “surrender” as earlier reported by officials.

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Arresting officers found a gun in Dizon’s possession and discovered that the suspect had plans of joining an armed rebel group.

Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said though a dialogue with the suspect’s father, Jun Troadio Dizon, and Reynaldo Malig, a leader of Citizens Crime Watch had ensued, it was a case of “arrest” because Dizon showed signs of resistance.

Pamintuan added that the suspect was apprehensive of “surrendering” to police as he “feared for his life.”

Joint elements of the special investigation task group Mitchell (SITG Mitchell), operating units from the city police intelligence branch, and city public safety company led by Superintendents Elvis Diaz and Rommel Batangan nabbed Dizon on Tuesday.

Dizon was initially charged with five counts of murder with theft relative to the killing of Albert Mitchell, an American national, and four others at Hensonville Subdivision.

The suspect is also being held responsible for the killing of Canadian Geoffrey Bennun and his live-in partner at the Oasis compound; and Briton James Bolton at his residence in Santa Maria Subdivision in Barangay Balibago here recently.

Based on ballistic examinations conducted by the Scene of the Crime Operations (Soco), a 9mm pistol was used in the three separate incidents.

Angeles City Police Director Danilo Bautista said Dizon has planned of joining a rebel group in La Union considering the gravity of his offense here.

Police officers from the intelligence branch then pretended as rebels and communicated with Dizon with the help of the suspect’s father.

“Pero nakahalata siya nung makipagkamay ako sa kanya. Kaya nung bubunot siya ng baril ay nakipag agawan na ako sa kanya at inaresto na namin siya,” Diaz said.

Pamintuan meanwhile warned criminal elements against any illegal activities in the city as the City Government and local police are serious in its campaign against criminalities.

“There will be no let up even on simple theft cases,” said Pamintuan, adding that authorities here will apply the full force of the law against lawless elements.

Pamintuan also acknowledged the business sector in the city for raising the reward money for the capture of the suspect, including the community’s contribution in posting Dizon’s photo in the internet, malls, public markets, and other places.

“All of these, as mayor, I have painstakingly orchestrated this combined effort. Now, peace and order again reigns in our beloved city,” the mayor said.

Pamintuan, Cacdac, and Bautista led in presenting the gadgets Dizon allegedly stole from the victims.

The items include several laptop computers, digital cameras, cellular phone, and video cameras, among others.

Foreigners and tourists here were relieved with the arrest of Dizon. (Reynaldo G. Navales)