Posted by watchmen
August 3, 2022
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) yesterday assured the public that there are no organized crime groups operating in the northern part of the province.

This comes after five gunmen opened fire at a Ceres bus between the town of Toboso and Escalante City last Saturday, July 30.

Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office spokesperson Lt. Judesses Catalogo assures the public that there are no organized crime groups in the northern part of the province.

NOCPPO spokesperson Lt. Judesses Catalogo said the suspect they have arrested, 19-year-old Joefel Sante, was a “newly-identified personality.”

Catalogo said the charges of illegal possession and illegal discharge of a firearm had already been filed against Sante.

He also affirmed that the bus has an onboard close circuit television (CCTV) camera and they already have the copy of the recorded footage during the incident.

The NOCPPO spokesperson further noted that the CCTV camera managed to get all of the suspects’ faces and they are now in the process of identifying the four other gunmen for the filing of appropriate charges.

On Saturday, Sante and his four accomplices tried to stop the Ceres bus along Bangga Aguinaldo in Toboso.

The bus driver and conductor became suspicious, however, after they saw one of the men carrying a metal pipe.

The driver and conductor were also aware of several robbery incidents reported in the area, thus instead of stopping, the driver drove the bus faster.

As they were driving towards the direction of Escalante City, the suspects opened fire several times at the bus.

The conductor, meanwhile, phoned the Escalante City Police Station.

Luckily, a unit of the Negros Occidental Police Mobile Force Company (NOCPMFC) was conducting a checkpoint along Crossing Cristobal and when the bus reached the cops, the driver and conductor immediately sought their help.

The gunmen, meanwhile, saw the checkpoint and made a U-turn towards Toboso. The cops chased them.

Sante was later arrested after his motorcycle suffered a mechanical failure when its chain broke down.

Police recovered Sante’s firearm, a .357 revolver.

When questioned by police, Sante admitted to the incident but denied knowing the identities of the four other men.

He also denied that they were planning to rob the bus, and that they only shot the bus “for fun.”

No one was wounded among the occupants of the Ceres bus./WDJ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *