PNP nabs 2 of DILG’s ‘most wanted’

Published August 7, 2020, 7:14 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

After more than a decade in hiding, two suspects included in the list of the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) most wanted personalities were finally captured by authorities in separate operations in Davao del Norte and Ilocos Norte, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Friday.

Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa (PNP / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP Chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa said the arrests of Willer Advincula and Zaldy Zabala were part of the intensified operations to capture high-profile suspects following the apprehension of cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. last week.

Ecleo is Number 1 in the most wanted personalities list of the DILG.
Citing a report from the Intelligence Group (PNP IG), Gamboa said Advincula was arrested by operatives of Davao and Samal Island police in Davao del Norte on August 4.

Advincula was collared by virtue of an alias warrant of arrest for the crime of murder issued in 2005. He is included in the DILG wanted list with a bounty of P90,000.

Meanwhile, Zabala was caught by police operatives in Vintar, Ilocos Norte also on August 4 by virtue of an alias warrant for murder. He has a bounty of P140,000.
Gamboa said the two wanted suspects were finally pinned down after they managed to evade arrest for 15 years.

“This should send a clear message to criminals in hiding: you can run but you can never hide from the PNP. We are as determined as ever to go after criminals who have been eluding arrest for years, decades even,” he stressed.

The PNP Chief noted that police operatives were not only focused on public safety operations in response to the health crisis.

He said they are also mounting and intensifying operations against most wanted personalities.  In the first semester of 2020, PNP data showed that 387 members of various threat groups were arrested while 115 firearms were confiscated.

Further, anti-criminality and internal cleansing operations also led to the arrest of 594 suspects with 119 firearms seized.

“Even in times of pandemic, our police operations and intelligence-driven initiatives are underway against criminals, threat groups, and most wanted persons,” Gamboa said.