Cops check link of burned car to missing pharma firm exec
MABALACAT CITY, Pampanga, Philippines — Police in Pampanga province have begun investigating the connection between the charred sport utility vehicle (SUV) found in San Luis town on July 20 and the reported disappearance of its owner, who is the president and CEO of a Metro Manila-based pharmaceutical company.
Col. Alvin Ruby Consolacion, acting Pampanga provincial police director, on Wednesday confirmed that the car belonged to the company CEO who reportedly went missing on July 19. The identity of the missing CEO was withheld while an investigation was underway.
In a telephone interview, Consolacion said police found the abandoned and charred SUV at Santa Monica village after receiving a report from residents about the burning vehicle.
He said the incident was also reported to the town’s Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), which sent a team to extinguish the fire.
In a separate interview, Staff Sgt. Wilmar Bulos, an investigator at the San Luis police station, said a flash report was issued by the Sta. Rosa City police in Laguna province about the alleged abduction of the pharmaceutical firm’s CEO on July 19.
Bulos said upon the discovery of the burned SUV, the local police requested the help of the crime laboratory in the Central Luzon police headquarters at Camp Julian Olivas in the City of San Fernando.
“The [scene-of-the crime] team conducted a micro etching of the vehicle’s engine and chassis number. After we had it verified with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), we learned that it was a Toyota Land Cruiser,” he said.
According to Bulos, the SUV had no record with the LTO since it was bought only on July 16.
The charred vehicle was still in the same place where it was found.
“We could not yet move it because the BFP has yet to conclude its own investigation,” he said.
In October 2020, a vehicle left in the adjacent town of San Simon turned out to be owned by slain retired Court of Appeals Justice Normandie Pizzaro, who penned the ruling that acquitted businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles in a serious illegal detention case in May 2017. Napoles is the suspected mastermind behind the pork barrel scam.
Pizarro also wrote the ruling that nullified a Hawaii court decision, which granted $2 billion worth of damages to victims of human rights abuse during martial law.
Pizarro’s body was found on Oct. 30, 2020, in Capas town, Tarlac province, about 40 kilometers from where his car was abandoned.
—WITH A REPORT FROM TONETTE OREJAS
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