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MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:32 p.m.) -- Four suspects in the killing of three security escorts of Banco Filipino owner Bobby Aguirre in his Las Piñas City home were arrested by authorities in separate police operations, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) announced on Thursday.
Robbery was the main motive behind the killing of Aguirre's security escorts last April 7 in his home in BF International, NCRPO director Alan Purisima said.
The arrested suspects were identified as John Mitz Jose, 19, employed as a truck helper at RCS Logistics Philippines; Allan Penafuerte, 30, a mechanic; Gerald Reyes, and a 17-year old boy whose name has been withheld for being a minor.
Purisima said 11 other suspects are still the subject of massive manhunt operations.
Investigation revealed that 15 suspects on board two private vehicles, a taxi cab, and a scooter went to the Aguirre compound on the night of April 7 to try and rob his residence.
However, retired Senior Police Officer 2 Melvin Padapa, one of the slain security aides, was alerted of the break-in and when he was about to draw his gun, was shot by the suspects.
Two other security escorts who were killed including PO3 Luisito Makatunaw, and security guard David Mangguerra.
Owing to the gun shots and the commotion, the suspects decided to forego their plan and hastily fled onboard the two cars and the taxi but left the scooter behind. It was later found to be registered to Jose.
Citing an informant, Purisima also revealed that a certain Norberto Doctor, a member of a well-organized crime group, could be involved in the incident.
An unidentified person close to Aguirre had reportedly contacted Doctor to rob the Banco Filipino owner's residence. Police declined to give further details as this was the subject of follow-up operations.
Aside from Padapa, other security aides killed were PO3 Luisito Makatunaw and security guard David Mangguerra.
Police have filed three counts of murder against the suspects at the Las Piñas City Prosecutors Office. Penafuerte, who was in possession of caliber 38 revolver and illegal drugs when arrested, was also charged with illegal possession of firearms and violation of the Anti-Drugs Act.