‘Killer, robber, rapist’ held for 5-city crime spree
Seven car thefts, seven robberies, three rapes and three homicides—including a gruesome death that recently shocked the local music industry.
The police are pinning all these on Nitro Agustin Ison, a stocky 24-year-old with blond-streaked hair, who allegedly used two other names and preyed on taxi drivers, call center employees and a popular musician’s widow.
Ison was arrested in San Miguel, Bulacan province, on Thursday on two arrest warrants for robbery: one issued in June 2015 by Makati City Judge Ronald Moreno and another issued October last year by Manila Judge Alma Crispina Collado.
But the Philippine National Police presented Ison to the media on Friday as the man behind a string of more recent crimes, including the Feb. 10, 2016, killing of Amparo “Teng” Santaromana Gamboa, wife of the late Tropical Depression frontman Dominic “Papadom” Gamboa.
In a press conference at Camp Crame, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Joel Pagdilao said Ison also went by the alias ‘’Ricky Ramos,’’ the suspect in three robberies that victimized four female taxi passengers on Jan. 19, Feb. 19 and March 19. The last of the four victims recently told the Eastern Police District (EPD) that she was also raped.
“He would board a taxi as a passenger, hijack the vehicle, then use it to pick up victims for robbery-holdup,’’ Pagdilao said. “Some (of the robberies) led to homicide, some to rape.”
A rape victim, who hid her face under a black jacket when called to the press conference, pointed to Ison as her attacker.
Ison is a resident of Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong City—where the EPD earlier looked for Ramos—and also went by the name Zenki, the PNP said.
Allowed to speak to reporters, Ison insisted he “knew nothing” of the charges against him. “I surrendered because I want to clear my name.”
The Makati police, who spearheaded the operation that led to Ison’s arrest, are linking him to robbery cases in Makati, Taguig, Mandaluyong, Pasay and Quezon City.
Supt. Angelo Germinal, deputy chief for operations of the Makati police, said the suspect targeted people working in call centers or establishments where employees go home in the wee hours unaccompanied.
This pattern appears to match the case of Gamboa, who was last seen alive around 2:20 a.m. of Feb. 10 when she took a cab from her call center in the Makati central business district. Shot near the chin, her body was found about 40 minutes later on a heap of trash on Kalayaan Avenue, Gaudalupe Nuevo, also in Makati.
In an interview on Friday, the Makati police chief, Senior Supt. Ernesto Barlam, said Ison’s link to the Gamboa case was established after he was identified by taxi driver Avelino Moran as the passenger who stole his cab on Feb. 8 as they passed through C-5 Extension, Merville, Pasay.
The “Jashkyle” taxi (UVY 402) was found abandoned on JP Rizal Street, Makati, on Feb. 10, the day Gamboa was killed. Blood found inside the vehicle was later found to be matching Gamboa’s, Barlam said. TVJ
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