2 killed in Cotabato highway robbery-A A +A
Sunday, January 30, 2011
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Unidentified armed men robbed a van-for-hire along the highway in Pikit, North Cotabato, and killed on the spot the driver and a passenger at around 6:30 p.m. Saturday, police reports said.
Sr. Insp. Elias Dandan, chief of Pikit police, identified the fatalities as Johnny Cadungog, van driver, and Romeo Benjumai, a passenger.
Dandan said the van was on its way to the town of Midsayap when a male passenger disembarked at an intersection along the highway in Pikit, just few meters away from Fort Pikit where the municipal hall is located.
After the passenger got off the van, four unidentified armed men immediately boarded and declared a hold-up.
Police said Cadungog was hit on the head when he tried to increase the van's speed, while Benjumai was shot, also in the head, when he refused to give his mobile phone to the suspects.
After they took the cash and other personal belongings of the passengers amounting to more than P20,000, the robbers fled on foot toward a dark area of barangay Fort Pikit, police said.
It was the second robbery incident in Pikit town last week.
On Friday, unidentified armed men shot dead the cashier of a pawnshop identified only as Majanlangit when she tried to wrestle with one of the suspects after they grabbed her phone and bag.
Dandan said they are already conducting pursuit operations against the robbery-holdup gangs that victimize passenger vans and buses plying the Pikit-Midsayap highway.
Also, he leads a team tasked to investigate the robbery-holdup cases in his town. (Malu Cadelina Manar)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 31, 2011.