URDANETA CITY — Five armed men on board a Toyota Innova vehicle were shot dead by members of a blocking force of the Urdaneta City police along a narrow road in remote Barangay Nancalobasaan in Urdaneta City at 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Senior Supt. Ronald Oliver Lee, acting police provincial director, said the names of the suspects are still being verified although identification cards found in their respective wallets indicated that they were from Tarlac, Pampanga, Metro Manila and Baguio City.
Interviewed over Radio Station Aksyon Radyo Dagupan, Lee identified the dead as belonging to a notorious carnapping group called “Rent Tangay” engaged in renting vans and killing the drivers of those vans before speeding off with the vehicles that they rented.
He said the carnapping group is operating in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Region 1 and the Cordilleras.
Lee told the radio station that this group was responsible for the slaying of drivers of rent-a-van vehicles whose bodies were dumped by them somewhere in Binalonan and Manaoag towns in Pangasinan in the past.
He said the Toyota Innova van where the five suspects were on board came all the way from Baguio and being chased by operatives of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG), which just conducted a raid on a motor vehicle shop assembling chopped-up carnapped vehicles near La Trinidad, Benguet.
While chasing the group, HPG operatives radioed the Pangasinan police to intercept the fleeing Toyota Innova van heading towards Pangasinan, Lee said.
Lee said all checkpoints in Urdaneta City were alerted to be in the lookout for the vehicle where the suspects were on board.
When the suspects reached Urdaneta, they rammed the barricades set up by lawmen, then started firing at them, prompting policemen to mount a chase which culminated along a narrow road in Barangay Nancalobasaan where the carnappers were cornered, Lee told the radio station.
Recovered from the bullet-riddled Toyota Innova were police camouflage uniforms indicating that the suspects were posing too as policemen in their illegal operations, four caliber pistols with respective magazines inserted on them, each containing ammunition, and a few sachets of shabu, which also means they were also engaged in illegal drugs.
Lee said the operations against other members of the group by the HPG and the Pangasinan police are still going on. PNA/northboundasia.com