Koronadal City Mayor orders capture ‘dead or alive’ of suspects in daring holdup

September 19, 2014 10:27 am 

By Allen V. Estabillo

KORONADAL CITY, Sept. 18 (PNA) — City Mayor Peter Miguel ordered police operatives to capture “dead or alive” the five other suspects in the daring robbery-holdup of a pawnshop here Thursday noon that left two security guards dead.

Miguel issued the directive after confirming the arrest of an alleged suspect identified as Jonel Elchico in a pursuit operation launched by joint police operatives in the outskirts of this city and nearby Tantangan town in South Cotabato.

He said the suspect, who claimed to be a resident of Barangay Topland here, was nabbed by policemen in a sitio of Barangay New Lambunao in Tantangan at past 3 p.m. or about three hours after the holdup incident at the Agencia Brillantes pawnshop.

The mayor said Elchico was moving suspiciously when first noticed by local residents and tried to flee when the policemen came.

“He tried to run away so our policemen chased him. We’re not quite sure yet of his involvement in the incident but flight is guilt and his movements as well as the way he answered our questions raised doubts about him,” he said in a radio interview.

Miguel said the suspect is currently undergoing interrogation at the Koronadal City police station.

“We hope that this will lead to the arrest of the other suspects,” the mayor added.

Six armed men aboard three motorcycles initially stormed the Agencia Brillantes pawnshop located at a busy section of the main commercial district here at around 12:30 p.m.

The pawnshop, which is adjacent to two shopping malls, is about two blocks away from the Koronadal City police station.

Upon arrival, he said the suspects gunned down the pawnshop’s security guard identified as Joan Lazaga and held its employees at gunpoint.

The suspects then took an undetermined amount of cash and assorted jewelry from the establishment, he said.

While fleeing the scene, the gunmen shot pawnshop employee Noel Billora and two other responding security guards — Arlon Tamayo and Alfredo Pagarigan — of nearby establishments.

Two other persons identified as Mark Anthony dela Torre and Sheryl Mae Galagar were hit by stray bullets during a brief shootout with responding policemen.

Supt. Nestor Salcedo, Koronadal City police chief, said the suspects, who were last seen proceeding towards the direction of Lutayan town in Sultan Kudarat, also hurled a grenade infront of the pawnshop but it did not explode.

He said it was later detonated by responding personnel from the explosives ordnance disposal unit of the South Cotabato Provinvial Police Office.

Lazaga and Tamayo, who are assigned at nearby Marbel Fit Mart department store (not Ace Centerpoint as earlier reported), were declared dead upon arrival at the South Cotabato provincial hospital.

The city government has put up an initial P50,000 reward for any information that may lead to the identities and the whereabouts of the suspects.(PNA)

CTB/AVE

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