TWO principal suspects in the shooting of Oriental Mindoro Provincial Prosecutor Josephine Caranzo last June 10 were killed in a gunbattle with policemen in Calapan City yesterday morning, Police Regional Office 4-B director, Brigadier General Tomas C. Apolinario Jr. said.
The official identified the slain suspects as Robert Magboo alias ‘Robert Martinez,’ a 24-year-old resident of Barangay Sta. Isabel, Calapan City and Edeper Hindap Gran alias ‘Popeye, ’34, of Bgy. Guinobatan, also in the same city.
According to Apolinario, the two suspects were positively identified as the motorcycle-riding gunmen who attacked 49-year-old Attorney Caranzo in Bgy. Bayanan 2, Calapan City around 9:15 p.m. on Monday last week. The victim suffered gunshot wounds in the body and is still recuperating in a local hospital under police guard.
The official said that last Friday afternoon, his men recovered the assassins’ getaway motorcycle: a red Jiangmen Haojue motorbike.
The motorcycle was found to be registered under the name of one Joven Sena Umali who has been arrested and is now undergoing questioning by investigators from the Calapan City Police Station.
Apolinario said that two black helmets used by the suspects during the attack as well as a pink wallet containing the photo ID, Student Driver’s Permit and Official Receipt from the Land Transportation Office of Magboo and a caliber .45 Para-Ordnance pistol with serial no. QH-7569 and with a magazine containing four live ammunition were also recovered inside the motorbike’s utility box.
Apolinario said that the recovered pistol has been submitted to the Regional Crime Laboratory Office 4-B for ballistics and cross-matching examination. He added that they have coordinated their effort to identify the registered owner of the gun with the Philippine National Police Firearm and Explosives Office.
The Mimaropa police director said that around 5 a.m. yesterday, while members of the Calapan City police an the Oriental Mindoro SWAT team were conducting surveillance at the hideout of the suspects in Bgy. Sapul in Calapan City, the suspects who were hiding in a makeshift house located near the rice field sensed the presence of the approaching lawmen and opened fire at them.
Apolinario said that officers returned fire killing both on the spot. A cal. .380 semi-automatic pistol with a loaded magazine was recovered at the scene. He added that the Calapan City police are also preparing necessary criminal charges against Umali.