Manhunt on vs. fleeing highway robbers in Davao

DAVAO CITY – Three alleged members of a highway robbery group are now the subject of manhunt following the alleged hijacking of a rice-containing 10-wheeler truck on Monday along the highway in Barangay Badiang, Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur.

Sr. Insp. Alfredo Santillana, chief of the Sta. Cruz police station, said that they are now closely coordinating with the 39th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army under Lt. Col. Oliver Artuz to track down the suspects who could have go up the mountains to flee.

The three were among the six men who hijacked a 10-wheeler Fuzo truck in Barangay Tagabuli, Sta. Cruz, around 12:15 a.m. Monday. The truck was delivering 520 sacks of rice worth P900,000 from Norala, South Cotabato to Tagum City in Davao del Norte.

But police operatives were immediately alerted of the incident that resulted to a shootout, killing one of the hijacking suspect and the arrest of two others.

The fatality was identified as Dioscoro Omang, while the arrested suspects were identified as Almar Conde alias Curoy, 19, and his brother George Conde, 27, all residents of Barangay Astorga in Sta. Cruz town, Davao del Sur.

The suspects were onboard two motorcycles when they blocked the truck driven by Jimmy Yama, 33, a resident of Norala in South Cotabato. Yama was accompanied by truck helper Loreto Bandi.

Yama said that one of the suspects told them that some of their rice cargo fell, reason why they disembarked to check.

But as the victims went down, four of the six men whipped out guns and tied the two up.

Two of the suspects boarded the truck with the victims who were later dumped at a village in Sta. Cruz.

A follow-up operation by the Davao del Sur Provincial Police Office and the Sta. Cruz Municipal Police led to the whereabouts of three of the six suspects at Sitio Salimoro in Barangay Coronon, Sta. Cruz around 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Recovered from the crime scene were six empty cartridges of a caliber 9mm pistol, three cartridges of a caliber 5.56 pistol, and 1357 Smith and Wesson revolver with four live ammunition, and an empty cartridge.

The two suspects are now in jail while appropriate charges are being prepared by the police for filing in court. (ASA)

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