Treasurer with P6M, driver survive highway robbery in Maguindanao
COTABATO CITY -– A treasurer of a town in Maguindanao transporting P6 million in payroll money, and her driver, survived a daylight highway robbery attempt in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao province on Saturday, police said.
Police Colonel Ronaldo Briones, Maguindanao provincial police director, said the ambush occurred at 8:30 a.m. along the national highway at Barangay Taviran.
Police Staff Sergeant Dimaciding Ali S. Succor Jr, the investigator of the Datu Odin Sinsuat police, identified the victims as Phoebe Cates Pimentel, municipal treasurer of Datu Saudi Ampatuan (DSA), and her driver, Edwin Masukat, both residents of DSA.
Both suffered bullet wounds on their shoulders but were now out of danger.
Police said the money was intact and still in the possession of the municipal treasurer as they were able to flee before they could be stopped by the suspected robbers.
The victims were on board a Nissan Almera sedan from Cotabato City en route to DSA when two men riding in tandem on a motorcycle overtook them and opened fire along the national highway in Sitio Linamonan.
Succor said the gunmen used caliber 45 pistols, based on empty shells recovered at the crime scene, and fled toward the direction of Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat.
Despite his injuries, Succor said Masukat managed to drive the vehicle up to a 90th Infantry Battalion detachment and sought help. The detachment located in Taviran, is around 800 meters from the site of the ambush, said Succor.
The Army rushed them to a hospital in Cotabato City, about 15 kilometers from Taviran.
Pimentel, who is now recuperating at the hospital, said in a radio interview shortly before noon on Saturday, that she was carrying P6 million cash for the salary of DSA employees.
Pimentel was still holding on to the bag of money even while undergoing treatment. (Editor: Leti Z. Boniol)
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