Alleged Alferez robbery group member killed

Posted at 01/31/2013 11:51 AM | Updated as of 01/31/2013 11:51 AM

MANILA, Philippines – A suspected member of the notorious Alferez robbery group was killed in Caloocan City on Wednesday evening.

Police responded to a grenade-throwing incident in Deparo, Caloocan and found the body of a certain Ed Villanueva.

Villanueva was declared dead on arrival at the East Avenue Medical Center.

It was not yet established how the grenade exploded. Police said the explosion may have been triggered by a squabble among the suspects or perpetrated by another group.

Witnesses said after the explosion, Villanueva's three alleged cohorts, only identified as Antonio Salvador, JM and Panoy, fled the scene after seizing an AUV driven by Melecio Reonal.

An inspection of the group's alleged hideout yielded several high-powered firearms and explosives. Military uniforms were also discovered.

Supt. Carlito Dimalanta said the Alferez group was behind the robbery incidents in malls in Metro Manila.

Villanueva also appeared on the rogues gallery of the police, confirming his links to the notorious robbery group.

Two other apartment tenants, a female only named "Nancy" and her 2-year-old child, are now under police custody.

Nancy said she served as a caregiver to one of the suspects who fled. She said the suspect was cancer-stricken.

She said they transferred to the apartment last month. – reports from Raffy Santiago, ABS-CBN News; and Johsnon Manabat, dzMM