MANILA, Philippines - Six suspected hijackers, including three policemen, were killed when they shot it out with law enforcers in Dasmariñas, Cavite before dawn yesterday.
Senior Superintendent John Bulalacao, Cavite police director, identified two of the slain suspects as PO2 Robert Sison Santos and PO1 Jonjie Jun Sayuman Liangco, assigned to Manila Police District’s Station 10, as identification cards recovered from them showed.
The third slain policeman was identified as PO3 Jessie Villanueva, and another as just a certain Don. The two others remained unidentified.
“The ID cards of the policemen appeared genuine, and the PO1 was in uniform. We will be coordinating with the DPRM (Director for Personnel and Records Management) to determine if they are legitimate members of the Philippine National Police,” Bulalacao said.
He said police recovered guns from the slain suspects, three of them with “PNP” markings, bolstering information that they were legitimate members of the police force.
The slain suspects were tagged in at least four hijackings involving grocery products.
Bulalacao said five other suspects, including two women, are detained at the Dasmariñas police headquarters.
He said the encounter took place at around 2 a.m. yesterday at the boundary of Barangays Lankaan 2 and San Agustin 3 in Dasmariñas.
Bulalacao said they beefed up police patrol following a hijacking incident involving P1.9 million worth of goods last Oct. 2 along Aguinaldo Highway in Barangay Salitran 1, also in Dasmariñas.
During the operations, police intercepted a red Toyota Vios that had been roaming around the area.
The three occupants of the car led police on Thursday afternoon to a warehouse in Barangay Langkaan where the stolen goods were kept.
“We brought the caretaker to the police station for further investigation,” Bulalacao said.
Unknown to the hijackers, a civilian asset was fielded to monitor their movements since their detained cohorts revealed they would take the stolen merchandise on Thursday night.
At around 1 a.m. yesterday, Bulalacao said police received a report that hijackers arrived at the warehouse onboard a truck and a Mitsubishi Adventure without a license plate.
“The suspects were hurriedly loading the items to the truck, thus our policemen immediately responded,” he said.
Bulalacao said some policemen secured the warehouse while others gave chase until the shootout occurred near the Dasmariñas City Hall.
After the shootout, Bulalacao said scene-of-the-crime operatives recovered police-issued guns like a Beretta and a .38-caliber revolver. He said the hijackers were not using long firearms.
Also found in the suspects’ possession were a K-9 sub-machine gun, two 9-mm, a .45-caliber pistol and another .38-caliber revolver.
As part of the group’s modus operandi, Bulalacao said a member wearing a police uniform would flag down a targeted truck and accost the driver.
When the driver would alight, a cohort would take over the merchandise-laden truck. – With Ed Amoroso, Arnell Ozaeta - By Cecille Suerte Felipe