‘Highway robbery’ in Quezon province puzzles town police chief
MANILA, Philippines—Millions-worth of funds for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s “Pang Tawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” (Four P’s) were allegedly lost to robbers in Quezon province, police said Wednesday.
Police Chief Inspector Von June Borja Nuyda, Pagbilao chief of police, said the incident transpired on Maharlika Highway in Sitio Polong Guiting, Barangay (village) Silangang Malicboy, Pagbilao, when three still unidentified armed men allegedly took at gunpoint the P9.4 million cash from PhilPost Regional Office employees who were supposed to deliver the cash for the beneficiaries of Four P’s in San Francisco, Quezon.
Nuyda said Brian Magbutay was driving a Starex van (WFC 753) with his companions identified as Odith Jaurigue Cadano, Geraldine Fabila Badong, Nino Santiago Calabia and Patrick James Gesulga Putungan, when they decided to have lunch at Valmyn’s Restaurant.
When Magbutay went back to their vehicle to start the engine, the suspects allegedly went towards him, pointed a gun at him, and asked for the vehicle’s key.
When he refused to give it, Nuyda said the suspects shot Magbutay twice in his left foot.
One of the suspects then drove the van and parked it in the middle of the road to create traffic jam, and eventually took the bag of money from inside the vehicle.
The suspects escaped onboard a yellow Yamaha Mio motorcycle.
Nuyda said the case was placed for further investigation, but added that authorities were also looking into several circumstances in the incident that seemed to be doubtful.
For example, Nuyda said that an armed robber usually shoots his victim in the upper part of his body, not in the feet.
And while the area isn’t really isolated, someone carrying a big amount of cash wouldn’t choose to take that route.
Nuyda was also skeptical as to why the group chose to eat in a small canteen when they were already near a fast food restaurant, considering the fact that they were carrying millions of cash.
He also said there were “inconsistencies” in the testimonies of the group.
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