POLICE authorities in Bacolod town arrested two of the six (6) suspects in the highway robbery at Sitio Lawian,in said town of, Lanao del Norte, police officials said yesterday.
Police said the suspects were the ones responsible in the robbing of Rural Transit bus number 1134 on September 12, this year.
Regional Police Community Relation's Division chief Police Senior Supt. Rolando Dela Vega identified the suspects as Rodel Labigan, 25, of Brgy Paiton, Tangub City and Cesar Estabas, 20, of Brgy Rebocon, Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte.
"The immediate arrest of the two suspects would be a great help to our policemen in looking for the four remaining suspects," Dela Vega said.
Dela Vega said they already increased their personnel securing bus and jeepney terminals in the region to avoid another possible higway robberies.
"Personnel of Regional Traffic Management Group are now guarding highways by tightening their checkpoints," Dela Vega said adding that even management and personnel of bus companies are now cooperating for the immediate arrest of the remaining suspects.
Meanwhile, Northern Mindanao police head Chief Supt. Florante Baguio said the suspects were arrested at Sitio Lawian, Brgy Esperanza, Bacolod, Lanao del Norte by the elements of Bacolod Municipal Police led by SPO3 Candido Briones.
Baguio said the suspects were arrested while they were on board a jeepney where one of the passengers named Richelle Hajiula who was likewise one of the victims during the said RTMI robbery, was present.
“The suspects were positively identified by our policemen as among the robbers that robbed the RTMI bus,” Baguio said adding that a hot pursuit operation is still being conducted for the arrest of other suspects.
Baguio has previously ordered Lanao del Norte provincial director PSSupt. Linog Bagul to conduct investigation right after the incident to identify and file appropriate charges in court against the suspects in order to facilitate their immediate arrest.
Baguio also said that they are still conducting operations for the immediate arrest of suspects in a separate highway robbery incident which victimized a bank in Gusa, Cagayan de Oro. The robbers got P4- million supposedly to be deposited for Ficco, a cooperative.
“We’re still investigating if the suspects arrested in Lanao have some connection to the Gusa highway robbery,” Baguio said.
Baguio said a cellphone, Nokia 6610 which turned-out to be the cellphone of Ritchelle Hajiula was seized from the possession of the suspects during their arrest.
Police said a case for highway Robbery/Brigandage was filed against the suspects docketed as Criminal Case number 12729 dated September 18, 2006 at the 12th RTC, Iligan City with a P30,000.00 bail recommended for their temporary liberty.
Mindanao Gold Star Daily