Most notorious kidnap-robbery gang leader falls

DAVAO CITY — The elusive and notorious leader of the Dumandan group involved in kidnap-for-ransom, series of robbery and hold-up, gunrunning and drug trafficking operating in the Davao region was arrested by authorities at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in Barangay Katuray, Panabo City.

The suspect was identified as Juan “Diding” Dumandan Jr., 39, of Calinan, Davao City. He has standing multiple arrest warrants for serious illegal detention, kidnapping, robbery, murder and attempted murder.

Dumandan was collared by joint elements of the Regional Intelligence Unit 11 and Panabo City Police Office led by Sr. Insp. Richard “Bong” Tangente, team leader of RIU-Davao del Norte Provincial Intelligence Team and under the supervision of RIU chief P/Supt. Leonardo A. Felonia.

Recovered from the suspect was an improvised .38 caliber pistol, four live ammunitions and one empty shell of .38 caliber pistol,  two lead-tip arrows (“Indian pana”), and three pieces of mobile phones.

The suspect’s group was blamed for the series of kidnapping and robbery incidents since last year and the past days including the recent hold-up of the Petron Gasoline Station in Panabo City on Tuesday and the wounding of the gasoline attendant who was shot by one of the suspected robbers.

Before Dumandan’s arrest, his group was allegedly still able to rob an egg store and carted away about P30,000 in cash Wedneday night in Panabo City.

It was learned that the group was formed sometime in 2000 here in Davao City by the three Dumandan brothers and Juan was identified to be their top leader and soon formed cells in Panabo City, Tagum City, and neighboring areas.

There were already several attempts to arrest Dumandan but he was very elusive and very dangerous since he was always armed with .45 caliber pistol and .357 caliber revolver. But his younger brother, Ceasar, was already arrested in August last year also in Panabo City. Some of its members were also arrested here in Davao City and Panabo City.

Sr. Insp. Tangente said the operation was hatched for more than a year already until they had the opportunity to arrest Dumandan, who was completely surprised when he was frisked by the operatives.

Reports have it that Dumandan was used to mark his left arm with a knife everytime he killed a kidnap and robbery victim. There were more than around 12 knife marks on his left arm, which means, he already slaughtered 12 people.

Felonia said the suspect will be brought to the Maa City Jail after they can get a commitment order from the regional trial court.

Meanwhile, he said their operation is still ongoing to arrest Dumandan’s cohorts here in Davao City and Panabo. (ASA)

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