AGENTS of the Special Operations Division-Task Force Limbas of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) early morning Monday ended the checkered career of a leader of a notorious car theft and gun-for-hire syndicate operating in Central Luzon and Metro Manila following a shootout in Bacolor, Pampanga.
PNP-HPG director, Brigadier General Alexander C. Tagum said Harry Mandahay, a resident of Purok 5 Pandaquequi, Hacienda, Pampanga and his driver-henchman Jeffrey Diamada of Tangle, Mexico municipality died on the spot after trading shots with members of the SOD-Task Force Limbas headed by Lieutenant Colonel Joel Manuel A. Ana.
In a report to PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas, Tagum described Mandahay as the leader of the Mandahay Gun-for-Hire and Carnapping Group while Diamada acted as one of his henchmen and drivers.
Tagum said Mandahay was identified as the leader of three other armed men who were on board a stolen car when they were killed in a gunfight with operatives of the HPG, the PNP Intelligence Group and the NCRPO along Quirino Highway in Barangay 183 in North Caloocan last December 3.
Ana and his men at around 1:45 a.m. last December 3, encountered the three suspects who were on board a silver Mazda 3 (XEL-583) near the Guadanoville Subdivision. Mandahay escaped during that shootout.
Tagum said members of the HPG SOD-Task Force , with the help of the Bacolor Municipal Police Station conducted the operation.
The two were on board a reported stolen Toyota Corolla Altis when they were intercepted along the River Control Road or megadike in Bgy. Cabanetican, Bacolor by SOD-Task Force Limbas officers.
Tagum said officers from the HPG Intelligence Division and HPG National Capital Region, the NCR Police Office Regional Intelligence Division/Anti-Carnapping Unit under Brig. Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. and the Bacolor MPS and Pampanga Provincial Police Office assisted the SOD-Task Force Limbas in the operation.
Shortly before the gunfight broke out, Tagum’s men launched a dragnet to intercept the occupants of a brown Toyota Altis sporting plate no XTH-348.
However, the suspects opened fire at the SOD-Task Force Limbas officers when they were flagged down in an Oplan Sita/Sabat checkpoint along the MacArthur Highway in Bgy. Cabanetican prompting the lawmen to return fire.
The HPG agents chased the fleeing suspects until they finally cornered them along the River Control Road where both were shot dead. No casualty was reported on the side of the police.
Ana told People’s Tonight that they found out the Toyota Altis had the original Land Transportation Office Conduction Sticker VL 5917 when it was stolen and replaced with plate no. XTH-348.
He added the car had been spotted being used as a getaway vehicle by the suspects on several occasions in Pampanga with many witnesses identifying its distinguished Shell Gasoline logo at the back windshield.
Ana said the vehicle was previously sighted in Mexico and Bacolor municipalities last January 16 although surveillance agents lost track of the car when it entered the inner roads of Bacolor.
Recovered from the possession of the slain suspects were a caliber .45 Remington pistol without serial numbers, cal. .38 revolver, several spent .45 and .38 casings and live ammunition, four small heat-sealed plastic sachets containing suspected shabu, assorted fake identification cards used by the suspects, a picture of a person and sketch map of the latter’s residence.
The Altis worth P600,000 was damaged during the exchange of fire.
Tagum said the suspects were also believed to be involved in ‘Akyat-Bahay-Gapos’ activities in Pampanga, Bulacan and Tarlac provinces as well as parts of northern Metro Manila.