5 behind veggie truck theft slain in Benguet shootout
BAGUIO CITY — Five men who were suspected of stealing a vegetable truck were killed in a shootout with policemen on Marcos Highway in Tuba town, Benguet province, early Wednesday, police said.
Police Capt. Marne Abellanida, head of the public information office of the Cordillera regional police, said the suspects stole an empty truck in La Trinidad town, Benguet’s capital.
In a telephone interview, Abellanida said the truck, which was reported stolen at 1 a.m., was escorted by a sport utility vehicle, and the convoy sped through police checkpoints set up between Baguio City and Tuba.
A chase ensued up to a section of Marcos Highway at Barangay Taloy Sur in Tuba.
The suspects exchanged fire with policemen around 3 a.m., resulting in the death of five suspects, Abellanida said.
Two of the slain suspects wore police uniforms and bore what appeared to be Philippine National Police identification cards, investigators said.
They were carrying IDs with the names “PCMS (Police Chief Master Sergeant) Marvin A. Aquino” and “PSMS (Police Senior Master Sergeant) Cesar Alpha Blomes.”A third suspect was found carrying a National Bureau of Investigation ID with the name “Leovin S. Sondagon.”
Abellanida said they had yet to determine if the IDs were authentic. A Philippine Health Insurance Corp. ID with name “David Dasala Rapal” was also recovered at the scene. —VALERIE DAMIAN AND VINCENT CABREZA INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.