Car theft suspect enrages Duterte
DAVAO CITY—Bring his head to me.
An enraged Rodrigo Duterte, the tough-talking vice mayor of the city, minced no words in announcing a bounty for the capture, dead or alive, of Ryan Yu, suspected leader of a car theft ring operating in Mindanao.
Duterte said he will spend his campaign funds on the bounty for Yu, which the vice mayor said will be higher if Yu’s head is presented in a freezer “preserved in ice.”
“Two million pesos to those who can capture him alive,” said Duterte, former city mayor, in a press conference late Wednesday.
“Another P2 million for those who can capture him dead,” the now candidate for mayor said. “And if you can hand over to me his head, I will shell out an additional P1 million in reward,” he said.
The total prize for Yu’s head comes up to P5 million, which Duterte said he will get from his campaign funds.
Duterte said he will personally hand over the money to anyone who could bring him the head of Yu, also known by his alias Baktin, after which police named his alleged car theft syndicate.
The vice mayor was apparently enraged by reports attempting to link Yu to his son, Paolo, current chair of the Association of Barangay Captains of the city.
Duterte said he received a call from Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas asking about reports that Paolo had brought in untaxed luxury vehicles, including a Hummer, through Yu. Duterte said he confronted his son, who denied the reports.
Yu, according to Duterte, is known to drop the names of local and national officials, using these as “gate pass” for his criminal activity. Yu is also known to have his photograph taken with politicians to pass off the pictures as proof of his influence, said Duterte.
The vice mayor said he had warned Yu not to set foot in Davao City or face dire consequences.
Duterte and the city police, however, said they believe Yu had fled the country. An investigation of his gang and its connections is ongoing and covers the Land Transportation Office and Bureau of Customs.
Duterte said Yu’s criminal operations could also involve rogue government officials. He refused to elaborate.
Police said Yu is behind the series of car thefts here and in Tagum City and Surigao del Sur.
On Monday, local police and members of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) raided a warehouse here belonging to Yu and seized at least 14 stolen vehicles.
The HPG has sought the help of Toyota dealers in Davao and Manila to locate the owners of cars that police said are targets of Yu and his gang. A follow-up operation after the raid on Yu’s warehouse yielded 11 duplicate keys for different Toyota vehicles.
The keys were found in Yu’s warehouse and could help police track down Yu, according to Senior Supt. Gregorio Pimentel, HPG director. Germelina Lacorte and Ayan C. Mellejor, Inquirer Mindanao
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