A MEMBER of a known robbery-hold up group from Misamis Oriental has been tagged by police as among nine perpetrators who divested at gunpoint a businessman of some P400,000 at a stoplight in front of the Ayala Centrio mall at CM Recto Avenue Wednesday afternoon.
Inspector Ariel Philip Pontillas, Police Station 3 chief, said a witness was able to take a photograph of one of the perpetrators which was used to identify the suspect through a rouges’ gallery.
“Naa may mga bystanders nga mitabang sa ato, nakakuha og picture during the incident. Atong gi-review atong rouges gallery then atong gipakita sa biktima. Identified ang usa sa mga suspects,” Pontillas said.
Pontillas declined to identify the victim for security reasons.
Pontillas said the businessman’s white Toyota Innova was waiting for the light to change when the incident happened.
He said the victim was on his way to Opol town from a bank in Barangay Lapasan where he had cashed a cheque.
While at the stoplight, Pontillas said the victim related how his van was suddenly surrounded and blocked by nine men on board motorcycles, one of whom fired his caliber .45 pistol at the engine of the Innova.
Another of the suspects broke the window of the vehicle, threatened him, and took the bag containing P400,000.
Pontillas said criminal charges are being readied against the suspects.
Meanwhile, the Cagayan de Oro Police Office (Cocpo) is investigating why the two policemen detailed at the police outpost along the busy intersection were not in their post at the time of hold-up.
Police Superintendent Danildo Tumanda, Deputy City Director for Administration, said the investigation will look into why the two policemen from the city’s Police Station 3 had apparently abandoned their post.
The two, identified only as a Police Officer 1 (PO1) Chavez and a PO2 Belesario, were said to be at a convenience store along Corrales Avenue, supposedly on patrol, while the 2 p.m. hold-up was taking place.
Pontillas had earlier told reporters that the incident was over in minutes and that the suspects had gotten away by the time responding policemen from the Agora police station arrived at the crime scene.