4 gangsters slain in rescue of kidnapped Davao businessman

By Dennis Jay Santos
Mindanao Bureau
Last updated 04:29pm (Mla time) 07/11/2007

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Four suspected members of a local kidnap-for-ransom gang, including a policeman and a former soldier, were killed during a shootout with police and agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Buhangin district here on Tuesday afternoon.


But Senior Superintendent Jaime Morente, city police director, said the kidnap victim, businessman Edgar Baroso, was unscathed during the exchange of gunfire between the suspects and the raiding team around 5:30 p.m.


Baroso was kidnapped from his gas station in the village of Tibungco in Sasa district here Sunday afternoon, Morente said.


He said a staff of Baroso called 911 emergency police hotline, which in turn informed authorities about the incident.


“We decided to keep it under wraps so that the operation would not be jeopardized,” he said, adding that the suspects had already contacted the victim’s family and have asked P10 million in ransom.


Morente said the rescue operation was launched Tuesday after confirming the kidnappers and the victim were in a house in Spring Valley Subdivision in Buhangin.


Those killed included Senior Police Officer 2 Jaime Telebanco of the city police and former army sergeant Jessie Muit of the Balbacua gang.


The two other slain kidnappers remained unidentified as of press time.


Morente said Muit was involved in the 1999 kidnapping of hardware store owner Winston Ho here.


“That case was dismissed after the victim did not appear in court,” he said.


On the involvement of a city police officer in the gang, Morente said: “We are disgusted.”


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