ACTING on orders of Philippine National Police chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan, PNP Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) director, Brigadier Gen. Alexander C. Tagum yesterday said he has ordered the HPG’s Special Operations Division-Task Force Limbas and all 17 Regional Highway Patrol Units to further intensify their efforts to account for most wanted car thieves and other criminals in the country to prevent them from having more opportunities to perpetrate their illegal activities.
Apart from beefing up their campaign against carnapping, hijacking and highway robbery, the official said he wants his men to account for wanted persons in their list specifically those who are the subjects of pending warrants of arrest. He said he will be basing his decision to reshuffle his men on their performance within the next few weeks.
Now headed by Lieutenant Colonel Joel Manuel S. Ana, the SOD-Task Force Limbas is composed of HPG operatives highly-trained to ‘spot’ motor vehicles with suspected fake license plates and validating stickers at a glance.
The special HPG unit is also known for conducting ‘intelligence-driven’ operations to smash organized car theft and hijacking syndicates while going after ring members known for registering stolen motor vehicles with the help of some rogue contacts from the Land Transportation Office in the past.
Tagum said that last week, members of SOD-Task Force Limbas arrested three men who were on board a 2019 model Ford Ranger XLS which has been reported missing by its registered owner Edgardo Laggui II since last October 7.
The official said the suspects identified as Homer Razado, Marcelino dela Cruz and Francisco Jardinel, all occupants of Unit 3709 of Flair Tower in Mandaluyong City,were accosted in front of the SM Hypermarket in Cubao, Quezon City.
Officers who searched the vehicle recorded an unlicensed caliber 9mm pistol with 10 live ammunition. The suspects, according to Tagum, are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 10883 or the New Anti-Carnapping Act and RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.
On the same day, SOD-Task Force Limbas agents also apprehended Rommel Antiga, a resident of Barangay Holy Spirit, Q.C. while driving a 2014 model Honda Civic with a suspected fake license plate.
Last October 18, SOD-Task Force Limbas operatives also recovered two stolen Toyota Innova wagons with plate numbers CAO-6073 and NEG-5764 in San Antonio, Cavite and in Santa Rosa City in Laguna.
Another stolen tractor head with plate no. NCK-2360 was also recovered by Ana’s men in Rosario, Batangas.
The suspect and the vehicle were brought to the HPG headquarters in Camp Crame for further investigation.
Tagum said members of the RHPU-National Capital Region under Col. Wilson M. Doromal also arrested 41-year old Jean Paulo Santos along Franc Street in Taytay, Rizal last October 19 on the strength of a warrant of arrest for violation of Republic Act 10883 or the New Anti-Carnapping Law of 2016 issued by Judge Juris Dilinila-Callanta of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 85.
On the other hand, RHPU10 officers under Col. Neil Francia arrested 31-year old Marjun Balicon, a resident of Lantapan, Bukidnon who is wanted for rape and robbery.
The RHPU 4-A headed by Lt. Col. Samson Belmonte also caught the 3rd most wanted car thief in Calabrzon region identified as Bernardo Manuel in Bgy. Real in Calamba City, Laguna last Tuesday. The suspect is the subject of a warrant of arrest for violation of RA 6539 issued by Judge Gregorio Velasquez of the Calamba City RTC Branch 35.
RHPU4-A operatives led by Captain Allan Eneria on Thursday last week also arrested 36-year-old Wharly Lirio, a convicted robber-turned Binangonan, Rizal’s 8th most wanted person.
He added that RHPU4-A men also recovered a stolen Hyundai Elantra, a Ford Raptor and a Nissan Urvan following a string of operations triggered by the arrest of wanted car theft suspect Esrom Paming in Paracale, Camarines Norte.
A P300,000 bail was recommended for the temporary liberty of the suspect by Judge Manuel Salumbides of the Quezon Regional Trial Court Branch 63.
Belmonte’s men also recovered a stolen motorcycle and arrested two suspects in Bgy. Mambog 3 in Bacoor City, Cavite last Thursday.
The suspects identified as Jayson Gordo,25; and Christopher Reyes,27, are facing appropriate criminal charges. Belmonte said that Cavite HPG officers led by Captain Eduardo Joy Guadamor made the arrest following information that Gordon was selling dismantled motorcycle parts in the area.
Belmonte said investigation showed the chassis being sold by the suspect turned out to have been stolen while parked unattended in Dasmariñas City on December 8, 2019.