Charges to be filed against driver of getaway vehicle
Charges of attempted murder will be filed against the driver of the getaway vehicle used by one of the alleged hitmen in Talisay City.
Driver Adhmann Sigue Canangca-an told reporters that he only drove his cousin Felix Abacajan Jr., and he was not involved in any killing. Canangca-an surrendered to police after being persuaded by another cousin, a policeman.
Despite this Supt. Germano Mallari, chief of the Cebu Provincial Police Intelligence Branch, said charges will be filed against Canangca-an at the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.
Recovered inside the Nissan Navara driven by Canangca-an were one bullet-proof vest, a gun box, and two cotton swabs. Mallari said Canangca-an will undergo a paraffin test to find out whether or not he recently fired a gun.
Last Wednesday’s shootout led to the death of Felix’s younger brother Joeser and a certain Julian Bonghanoy Jr.
Felix and his brother Joeser were the subjects of a search warrant issued by Judge Gilbert Moises of the Regional Trial Court Branch 18 for illegal possession of firearms.
Felix, a barangay councilman of Maghaway, Talisay City and chairman of the village’s committee on peace and order, managed to escape after they boarded the vehicle driven by Canangca-an in the middle of the armed encounter.
Recovered inside Felix’s residence in Barangay Maghaway, Talisay City were one KG9 machine pistol, three .45 pistols, two shotguns , one M16A1 rifle, two magnum rifles, two rifle grenades, one 40 mm grenade launcher canister, and several ammunitions.
Mallari said a hot pursuit operation is being conducted by the Talisay City police to arrest Felix who reportedly sustained a gunshot wound on his left shoulder.
“We’re coordinating with all hospitals in Cebu to trace the possible whereabouts of Felix,” he said.
Mallari said they are also validating reports that Felix and his companions were connected to drug lord Franz Sabalones who already surrendered to the Philippine National Police.
The police also received information that dead bodies were buried by the group at Felix’s farm in Talisay City. “We’re validating all these reports. So far, we have not verified any of these,” Mallari said.
He said the firearms and ammunitions they seized from Felix will be subjected to ballistics examinations to find out if they were used in other crimes.
“There’s a possibility that we can solve many cases out of what we seized,” Mallari said.
Last August, the police received a report that Felix and his group conducted checkpoints in Talisay City to look for the man who attempted to kill him.
“They were bringing high-powered firearms and they flagged down all motorcycles who pass by the place,” Mallari said.
The police validated the report and applied for a search warrant from the court. When they secured an authority from the court, the Talisay City police immediately went to Felix’s house to implement it.
The Provincial Intelligence Branch operatives sought reinforcements from the Talisay City police, Special Weapons and Tactics, and the Regional Special Operations Group in trying to arrest the suspects.
In an interview, Canangca-an said Felix went to his house in Barangay Lawaan, Talisay City at noon last Wednesday.
He said Felix requested him to drive him to his home after the latter received a call regarding the presence of armed men in his residence in Maghaway.
Canangca-an said he brought Felix to the latter’s residence and farm. The driver stayed inside the vehicle for minutes and was later surprised to see Felix run towards him with a gunshot wound on the shoulder.
“Lisud kon dili nako siya (Felix) pasakyon kay nagdagan naman siya. (I could not refuse to let Felix board the vehicle because he was in danger),” said Canangca-an, a jeepney operator.
He said he brought Felix to Barangay Linao in Talisay City before he proceeded to Barili town, south Cebu with his wife to buy door jambs for their newly-built house.
“Basta wala gyud koy apil ana. Wa koy gibuhat nga dautan. (I not involved in the shootout. I have not committed any infraction),” said Canangca-an.
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