Joint Batangas, Lemery police team tracks arsonists who torched 5 DLTB buses at Lemery, Batangas terminal
LEMERY, Batangas, Dec. 30 (PNA) — A joint team from the Batangas Provincial Police Office (BPPO) and Lemery Police Station on Friday conducted hot pursuit operations to identify and arrest the other suspected arsonists who torched five buses of the DLTB Bus Company terminal in Lemery.
Senior Inspector Hazel P. Luma-ang, chief of the BPPO information office, in a report to BPPO acting director Senior Supt. Leopoldo E. Cabanag, said the rallying workers of the DLTB Bus Company here who joined the nationwide “tigil pasada” (strike) Thursday were believed to be behind the burning incident at the BLTB bus terminal in Barangay Malinis in this town.
Scene-of-the-crime operatives (SOCO) who conducted the technical investigation of the crime scene estimated property damage at around Php30 million.
According to the Lemery police, the BLTB employees kicked off with their strike around 2 p.m. Thursday in support to the Manila-based rallyists and strikers who protested to hike provincial pay rates equivalent to those earned by their Manila counterparts.
Initial report by PO2 Camilo A. Manguiat of the Lemery police station who conducted police team visibility operation in the area later in the afternoon disclosed they have spotted a fire incident at the bus terminal in front of Xentro Mall.
This prompted Chief Inspector Rodel Sibalo Ban-o, Lemery Police Station officer-in-charge to immediately dispatch his police personnel at the terminal to investigate.
Early Thursday evening, three buses were already totally damaged by fire while two others were partially burned at the DLTB bus terminal, the police reported.
Investigators quoted residents living near the terminal that they heard a loud explosion from the terminal parking area and witnessed that one bus was in flames.
A composite fire marshal team from the neighboring town immediately responded to control the fire and declared the fire out by 7:44 p.m. Thursday.
Police said they apprehended five suspects who were positively identified during the DLTB workers’ mass action.
Lawmen named the five suspects, mostly bus drivers as Albert San Presentacion Gabriel; Lloyd Nicolas Ocares; Wilmar Biaca Caro; Arvin Arrellano Soliven and Joselito Santiago Guevarra.
The sixth suspect Ernesto Garcia Villanueva Jr. was arrested following the hot pursuit operation in Alitagtag, Batangas.
Police are now preparing the pertinent documents for filing appropriate charges against the six suspects. (PNA)