22 suspects in deadly Espino ambush charged

October 02, 2019

THE Pangasinan Police Provincial Office on Tuesday filed criminal charges against 22 suspects in the September 11 ambush in San Carlos City which led in the wounding of veteran politician Amado’Ama’ Espino Jr. and the killing of his two security aides.

Police Regional Office 1 director, Brigadier General Joel S. Orduña said two murder and four frustrated murder cases were filed against the suspects before the San Carlos City Prosecutor’s Office.

The official said that although they have yet to identify the mastermind behind the bloody ambush, there were sufficient forensic examination and other vital pieces of evidence recovered by the Special Investigation Task Group Espino which led to the filing of the criminal charges against the suspects whom he described as ‘known members of a gun-for-hire’ syndicate operating in Ilocos-Pangasinan region.

Fourteen of the suspects charged in court were identified as Albert Palisoc alias ‘Alvin Pascaran,’ Armando Frias alias ‘Jong,’ Gerry Pascua alias ‘Kagawad Guapo,’ Teofilo Ferrer alias ‘Pong,’  Benjie Resultan, Joey Ferrer, Ronnie de los Santos, Sherwin Diaz, Alfred Pascaran, Jewel Castro, John Paul Regalado, one alias ‘Pong,’ an alias ‘Russel’ and an alias ‘Sel.’

The others were named only as ‘John Does’ in the criminal complaint.

Castro and Regalado were identified as the alleged owners of the two getaway vehicles used by the hired guns, Orduña said.

The getaway vehicles — a red Hyundai Elantra with conduction sticker MR 6318 and a metallic blue Ford Everest with plate no. COL-613 — were recovered by local police along Sitio Taew, Barangay Cobol in San Carlos City and Bgy. Pasima-Taloy in Malasiqui town respectively.

Recovered inside the car were two M-16 Baby Armalite rifles, one M-16 standard Armalite, five short M-16 magazines, four long M-16 magazines and 34 live 5.56 ammunition.

Found inside the SUV were one fragmentation grenade, two M-14 rifles, four M-14 magazines, one M-16 Hydramatic automatic rifle, one Rock River Arms Baby Armalite and three M-16 magazines.

A policeman-bodyguard of Espino and his driver died in the attack while the former Pangasinan governor was wounded. Orduña said that the firearms and fired cartridges were subjected to ballistics, cross-matching and micro-etching examinations to find out if these were involved in other crimes in the region.

The SITG Espino Jr. composed of investigators from the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office and the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Intelligence Group are working double time to identify and arrest the suspects,  Orduña added.

The official said the SITG is also digging deeper into the background of the weapons recovered inside the two abandoned getaway vehicles.