A VICE mayor from Cavite tagged as the alleged leader of a crime syndicate and eight of his men were arrested on Tuesday by police operatives in the province for illegal possession of firearms.
Col. Marlon Santos, director of the Cavite Provincial Police Office, said Vice Mayor Condrado Alegre Viado of Amadeo town in Cavite is the leader of the Asiong Group.
Santos said the group, which supposed also includes some elected officials who were not identified, is involved in gun-for-hire, land grabbing, extortion, and gunrunning in Amadeo town and nearby cities and municipalities in Cavite.
Arrested with Alegre were Roberto Gonzaga, Cristobal Catimon, Arnel Atienza, Guillermo Viado, Romeo Ambata Jr., Jarinya Trinidad, Florencio Dimaano, and Neil Tibayan, all residents of Amadeo.
They were arrested at around 3:30 a.m. in Amadeo and General Trias City, also in Cavite, during the simultaneous implementation of 15 search warrants issued by Laguna Judge Cynthia Mariano-Ricablanca.
Seized during the operations were 21 firearms composed of four M14 rifles, three M16 rifles, a cal 30 Carbine, seven cal. 45 pistols, a cal. 22 pistol, two cal. 22 rifles, a cal 380 pistol, and a cal. 38 revolver.
Also recovered were three ammunition for a M203 grenade launcher, two rifle scopes, 20 magazines for M16, 10 magazines for M14, six magazines for a cal. 45 pistol and assorted rifle and handgun ammunition.