A possible suspect in the robbery and hostage-taking in Silay City, Negros Occidental, where a farm worker was killed and another injured, is now under police custodial investigations after the recovery of a getaway vehicle from his possession.
The police, with the help of the National Bureau of Investigations, and witnesses, yesterday came up with facial sketches of three of the suspects, for whom pursuit operations are still underway.
Supt. Rosauro Francisco, Silay police chief, yesterday said a Rusi motorcycle, that was positively by victims and witnesses as one of the getaway vehicles used by the armed robbers, was recovered Sunday from a person they have invited for questioning.
Francisco said the person they are investigating, whose identity they withheld, claimed that the motorcycle was left to him at 3 a.m. Sunday at Hacienda Bonbon, Brgy. E. Lopez, Silay City, by a security guard reportedly assigned in Cadiz City.
When the picture of the person was presented to the victims and witnesses for identification, however, Francisco said he was told that the person was not among the suspects. They however, positively identified the motorcycle recovered from him as one of the getaway vehicles.
About eight armed men entered the hacienda owned by Joseph Jison in Brgy. E. Lopez, Silay City, on Saturday night shot and killed farm worker Rodolfo Sobritodo, robbed overseer Noel Espada at gunpoint, and took his daughter hostage, while withdrawing from the place.
The suspects also shot three other persons, hitting Erick Cordero, but missed the two others, witnesses said.
Francisco said the suspects took P25,000 in cash, P6,000 in gift checks, a digital video camera, N95 cellular phone, PNB passbook, a credit card and checkbook from the house of Espada.
They also took hostage Espada’s daughter identified as Jinky Mary, 20, and a Nursing student, using her as a human shield, when they were being pursued by angry hacienda workers and families of the victims.
The hostage, was, however, released later by the suspects.
Based on the accounts of witnesses, Francisco said the suspects were described as 17 to 25 years old, medium in build with dark brown and fair complexion, and stand between 5 feet to 5 feet and 3 inches.
Complaints were aired on the slow response of policemen assigned at the 3rd Maneuver Platoon of the Negros Occidental PNP Public Safety Company, after they were informed of the incident, although their outpost is located within Brgy. E. Lopez, Silay City.
A policeman who refused to be identified, claimed that the concerned mobile police troopers only joined the pursuit operations the next day.
Supt. Remus Zacharias Canieso, supervisor of the NOPPO Northern Sector, said their maneuver police unit joined the manhunt operations, with the Silay police force as the lead agency in the investigation of the robbery incident. * GPB
Facial sketches of the three suspects in the robbery and hostage-taking incident in Silay City.*