Central Luzon’s most wanted person arrested in Iloilo

Wilhem Flores

By Jennifer P. Rendon

An Ilonggo who allegedly committed crimes in Central Luzon was arrested early morning of March 27, 2020 in Ajuy, Iloilo.

Wilhem Flores, 45, of Purok 5, Barangay Pampang, Angeles City, was collared after years of hiding at the mountainous village of Badiangan.

Flores is respondent to at least three warrants of arrest.

He was accused of murder in relation to Republic Act 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) docketed under Criminal Case No. 11-8249 issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 59, Angeles City on June 26, 2012.

No bail was set for his temporary liberty.

Flores was also accused for two counts of robbery with violence and intimidation against person docketed under Criminal Case Nos. 13-1403 and 11-8258 issued by Judge Philbert Iturralde of RTC Branch 58, Angeles City on Oct. 7, 2013.

Bail bond was set at P100,000 for each case.

A case was also filed against him for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition; and robbery with intimidation and violence against persons docketed under Criminal Case No. 11-6981-1403 issued by Judge Iturralde on Sept. 1, 2011 with P160,000 bail recommended.

Joint elements of Iloilo Police Provincial Office – Intelligence Unit and Ajuy Municipal Police Station arrested the suspect after about a month of surveillance operation.

Police Colonel Paul Kenneth Lucas, Iloilo police chief, said the PNP Directorate for Intelligence in Camp Crame tipped IPPO that Flores, a fugitive for almost a decade in Region 3, was hiding in Iloilo province.

Flores, who was frequently seen with his son, was sighted in the towns of Ajuy and Lemery.

But IPPO Intelligence Unit personnel couldn’t readily pinpoint if Flores, the fugitive in Central Luzon, is the same man who farmed for a living in Ajuy.

Police Major Gervinson Moyo, IPPO- Intelligence Unit chief, said there have been changes in the suspect’s physical appearance since he was last photographed in Angeles City some 10 years ago.

“We coordinated with the Regional Intelligence Divisions of Police Regional Office 3 and National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) for the mug shot, fingerprint specimen, and other documents to confirm his identity,” Moyo said.

Flores denied the accusations against him. He only owned up to the case involving the illegal possession of firearm.

“He will be given his time in court,” Moyo said.

According to police information, Flores was accused of shooting to death a 17-year old boy in Angeles City.

The former security guard was also accused of robbery with a fellow guard.

He was later arrested in a checkpoint carrying the security agency’s firearm, thus, the case for illegal possession of firearm.

While he is an Ilonggo, Flores went to Pampanga where his two siblings are based. He later worked in Angeles City and sneaked back to Iloilo after arrest warrants were issued against him.

Flores has five children, with ages ranging from 3 to 21 years old.

“Kaluluoy man mga bata ko kun ma-preso ko,” he said. (My children would suffer if I get jailed.)

Meanwhile, Lucas said that Flores’ arrest showed that IPPO’s relentless campaign against wanted persons amidst the efforts to help thwart the spread of COVID-19 in the province of Iloilo.

He said it is also in compliance with the PNP national headquarters’ and Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6)’s directive to sustain the anti-criminality and anti-insurgency campaigns while fulfilling the mission in ensuring border control and other measures pertaining to the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine to prevent the affectation of the deadly COVID-19.

He also reiterated the appeal to the people of Iloilo Province to stay vigilant against wanted persons or other suspicious individuals or groups in their area and report them to the nearest police station.