FOUR gunmen have taken some P7.6 million worth of jewelry and other valuables in a highway robbery in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, the police reported Tuesday, July 10.
Chief Superintendent Edwin de Ocampo, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula deputy director for administration, said a manhunt has been launched against the gunmen.
De Ocampo said the incident occurred at 8:21 a.m. Monday in the village of Tiguma, Pagadian City, the capital of Zamboanga del Sur.
Initial investigation showed that the gunmen waylaid a sports utility vehicle (SUV) owned by jeweler and pawnshop chain M Lhuillier.
Renante Ronolo, 28, was driving the vehicle to transport the jewelry from the firm’s outlet to the airport in Pagadian City. With Ronolo was Addis Cortez, 54.
Emmalinda Regencia, regional manager of M Lhuillier who was aboard another vehicle that was tailing the SUV, witnessed the incident.
The gunmen were on board an SUV with registered plate number AEB-7356. They fled towards the north after the robbery.
De Ocampo said one of the four suspects, Jessie Macasilang alias Marines, was identified through a closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.
De Ocampo said Macasilang eluded arrest when policemen raided the suspect’s hideout in a thickly vegetated area in the village of Manga, Tangub City, Misamis Occidental around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday.
The raid was jointly carried out by policemen from Pagadian and Tangub cities.
De Ocampo said Macasilang has two standing warrants of arrest for robbery issued by a Parañaque City court.