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Suspected killer of ‘Bata’ Reyes’ aunt arrested in Olongapo

May 15, 2019 - Wednesday 3:05 PM by Jon Joaquin

Article Banner Image NCRPO director Major General Lorenzo Eleazar presents suspect Elias Gamboa to the media. Photo courtesy of NCRPO

A former police officer accused in the 2005 killing of an aunt of professional pool player Efren “Bata” Reyes was arrested on Monday in Olongapo City as he was on his way to vote in the midterm election.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) identified the suspect as Elias Gamboa, 45, a former patrolman who had been assigned at the Meisic Police Station, Station 11, Manila Police District but who has gone absent without official leave (AWOL) since 2005.

Gamboa was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Tita Bughao Alisuag of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 1, National Capital Judicial Region in Manila for the murder on October 5, 2005 of 60-year-old Victoria Pangilinan, who was an aunt of Reyes, in the City of Manila.

Gamboa had a bounty of P145,000 and was tagged a National Most Wanted Person. He was dismissed from the service in 2006.

The NCRPO said the operation to arrest Gamboa stemmed from information given by a confidential informant, who said Gamboa was in Olongapo City.

According to the NCRPO, the records of the case showed that Gamboa allegedly had a "mutual understanding" with Pangilinan.

However, the two allegedly had a heated argument which prompted the accused to repeatedly stab the victim with a pointed weapon 19 times, resulting in her instantaneous death.

"Gamboa hid in different places and became a tricycle driver to sustain his needs from 2005 up to the date of arrest,” the NCRPO said.

Gamboa was arrested by elements of the NCRPO Regional Intelligence Division (RID) together with NCRPO Regional Drug Enforcement Unit in coordination with Police Station 1, Olongapo City Police Office.

No bail was recommended for his temporary liberty.

NCRPO director Major General Lorenzo Eleazar said Gamboa should have faced the case as a police officer.

"Kung may kaso siya dapat ay harapin nya yan para mabigyan nya ng tamang depensa, hindi yan ganyan na nagtago pa siya. So ngayon ay nahuli na siya, doon siya sa korte magpaliwanag (If he had a case, he should have faced it so he could give the proper defense. He shouldn’t have gone into hiding. Now that he’s been caught, he will have to explain everything to the court),” Eleazar said.

He also said the Philippine National Police (PNP) is steadfast in its duty to arrest anyone who has a warrant.

“Sa kabila po ng dami ng ating mga operasyon at ibang pinagkakaabalahan lalo’t noong araw ng eleksyon, hindi pa rin po tayo tumigil sa ating ibang tungkulin tulad nitong paghahanap at pagdakip ng mga Most Wanted Personalities at iba pang nagkasala sa batas (Despite the large number of operations and other things we were busy with especially during the election, we did not stop performing our duty like this one in which we arrested one of the Most Wanted Personalities and other people who have broken the law),” he said.