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Owner of getaway vehicle in Aparri vice mayor ambush identified –PNP

Police have identified the registered owner of the getaway vehicle used in the ambush of Aparri, Cagayan Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda and five others in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday.

PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Jean Fajardo said despite the chassis and engine numbers of the vehicle having been tampered with, the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) was able to lift them.

“We already coordinated with the [Land Transportation Office]. We already have the name of the registered owner,” she said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

The Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) is now coordinating with the local police to find the registered owner.

However, Fajardo emphasized that authorities are still not sure if the registered owner was the current possessor of the vehicle.

The getaway vehicle was found burned in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya.

On Sunday, Alameda and five others were killed when their van was ambushed by gunmen in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya.

Also killed in the ambush were Alexander Agustin Delos Angeles, Alvin Dela Cruz Abel, Abraham Dela Cruz Ramos, John Duane Banag Almeda, and Ismael Nanay.

The victims were aboard a Starex van on the way to Manila when more or less six suspects fired at them.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos vowed to the families of the victims that the police would focus on the case and that justice would be served.

“Nakakalungkot at nakakagalit ang insidenteng ito. Tila nagiging garapal na ang mga kriminal na ito at wala ng pag-aatubili sa pagsasagawa ng kanilang masamang gawain.,” he said in a statement.

(This incident is saddening and infuriating. Criminals are becoming brazen and have no second thoughts about committing these crimes.)

Due to the reports that the ambushers were wearing police uniforms, Abalos ordered an investigation into the matter.  He also ordered a crackdown on the illegal sale of these uniforms.

He also called for stricter policies on the issuance of guns and licenses to own and carry firearms outside of a residence.

Police were directed to visit homes and ask owners to surrender their illegal firearms. — Joviland Rita/DVM, GMA Integrated News