Rob gang linked to De Lima aide’s slay
Witness says he saw suspects in ‘colorum’ AUV taxi boarded by victimBy Jaymee T. Gamil, Nancy C. Carvajal
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A witness has linked two of the arrested members of a robbery group preying on passengers of FX and AUV taxis to the killing of a close aide of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Rolando Argabioso, Special Task Force Group head of the National Bureau of Investigation, said that Alister Quintos, 32, was shot dead inside a Mitsubishi Adventure van (TXQ 215) just minutes after he boarded the “colorum” taxi on Marcos Highway on his way home to Antipolo City on May 10.
His body was found the following day on a road in San Ildefonso, Bulacan. He had been shot at close range once in the chest while there were bite marks on his right cheek and left arm.
Argabioso said that when the 10 members of the robbery gang were presented to media by the Parañaque police on Monday, a witness positively tagged two of them in Quintos’ killing.
According to the witness, who is a radio commentator, he was eating at an eatery on Marcos Highway when he saw Quintos standing beside the road.
“He saw Quintos climb into the colorum AUV taxi and sit beside two men who alighted from the vehicle to give way to him,” Argabioso said.
According to him, the gang had rented the Mitsubishi Adventure from a couple in Parañaque City who went to the police after they found blood on one of the seats when the vehicle was returned to them.
Four of the gang members were arrested on Saturday in another Mitsubishi Adventure (UIZ 786) after they failed to stop at a police checkpoint in Parañaque City. Following a chase, Princess Losa, Red Marlon Guarino, Ritchie Cahinta and Ludy Dagupioso were arrested after the police found a pile of wallets, cell phones, identification cards as well as guns and grenades inside the vehicle.
During questioning, they admitted that they preyed on FX and AUV taxis where they robbed the other passengers and sometimes, they used a colorum taxi to pick up potential victims. The group said they operated in parts of Metro Manila, Antipolo City and the nearby provinces of Bulacan and Cavite.
Follow-up operations led to the arrest of six other members—Almario Rentillosa, Luiz Bondoc, Ronelyn Consorte, Jonalyn Sarmiento, Janice Brillatica and Arvin Manal.
So far, 25 of their victims have gone to the Parañaque police station to file complaints against the group, said Southern Police District director Chief Superintendent Benito Estipona.
Parañaque police chief Senior Supt. Billy Beltran added that 33 others have gone to the police station to see if they could identify the group members.