Police: Dead robber’s gun has a ‘twin’ in Cagayan ValleyBy Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Chief Supt. Benito Estipona, head of the Southern Police District (SPD), said Sunday that the firearm taken from a robber who was slain in Friday’s mall heist was the “twin” of a licensed gun owned by a barangay official in Cagayan Valley,
The robber identified as Pepito Paler was killed after he and his companions shot it out with Alabang Town Center security guards in Muntinlupa City.
Two mall guards were wounded in the exchange of fire while five bank employees were also injured after the fleeing robbers lobbed a grenade at the nearby Sterling Bank of Asia as a diversionary tactic.
Estipona said that a check with the Philippine National Police’s firearms and explosives office showed that the Caspian cal. .45 pistol taken from Baler had the same serial number as that of a licensed firearm belonging to a barangay official in Cagayan Valley.
The official, however, has sold the gun to another barangay chair in the province, he added as he said that investigators had been given a copy of the deed of sale.
The new owner of the firearm told the police that the gun has been in his possession the whole time.
“Therefore, it appears that the pistol recovered from the slain suspect is an undocumented twin of the gun in Cagayan Valley,” Estipona said.
He added that there were signs that the serial number of the gun taken from Paler had been tampered with.
Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, head of the National Capital Region Police Office, said the other day that a special task group composed of SPD personnel, Muntinlupa police, members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and other allied agencies such as the Highway Patrol Group has been formed to thoroughly investigate and solve the robbery.
It was the second incident reported in the mall since the start of the year. In both cases, the robbers were targeting the men delivering money to a foreign exchange shop inside the establishment.
The first occurred in February and left a security guard and one suspected robber dead.
The police said they were looking at the possibility that the heists were carried out by the Ozamis robbery group.