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‘Mastermind’ of Ormoc heists, carnaps killed in Inopacan?

INOPACAN, LEYTE – The alleged “mastermind” of the recent hold-up of the JGC Financing Corporation last March 4 was killed in a police operation at Brgy. Esperanza here, after he allegedly resisted arrest.
The fatality was identified as one Sherlito Torralba alias Carlito Torralba, a resident of Ormoc City who was reportedly a leader of a robbery syndicate operating the breadth of Matalom down to Ormoc. Records at the Ormoc Regional Trial Court also show that Torralba has an outstanding warrant of arrest, together with his brother Lucio, who has yet to be found.
Torralba was fingered by his two companions in the JGC Financing Corporation heist, after they were nabbed by Ormoc cops.
Ormoc police station chief Sr. Insp. Alvin Shevert Machete said they immediately received a tip from an informant about his identity, after they spread the word among their assets that one of the suspects had a tattoo on the middle of his thumb and point finger.
They traced Torralba to his house at Brgy. Lake Danao but found that he had not returned there since the heist. Instead, they arrested his two companions living with him identified as Jemelito Perez, a native of Danao in Cebu, and Agustin Loreto, a security guard working in Danao but a native of Baybay City.
The two told the cops where Torralba could be found.
Sr. Insp. Allan Cerro, chief of police here, said that they have already been “casing” the group. Together with a team from the regional intelligence unit, they swooped down on Torralba’s lair on March 12 and he was shot dead after allegedly resisting arrest. An alleged companion, one Josie Sumaylo, evaded arrest.
Cerro added that Torralba’s kin arrived in Inopacan the next day, but opted to have his body buried in the town cemetery immediately.
Two other alleged members of the syndicate were also arrested in two separate operations. In a report at The Freeman, one Zaldy Paguipo and Herminigildo Rusiana, both of this town were arrested. Paguipo initially escaped to Bohol but returned after his wife appealed to him to surrender.
The second suspect was arrested at their barangay where he is chief tanod.
No mention of Torralba’s killing is made but the report further states that the two were allegedly members of the “Ilaga Gang”, which was reportedly responsible for the robberies of Codilla’s Petron in Ormoc where two workers were killed; the Fuel Firm gas station in Inopacan, the Caltex Station in Hilongos, LBC in Baybay, and of some P 110,000 payroll money from the barangay treasurer of Esperanza.
They have also been implicated in carnapping incidents in the 4th and 5th districts of Leyte. By Paul Libres



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