CAGAYAN, Philippines (UPDATED) – Authorities found the vehicle used by the suspect in the Quiapo road rage slay in Nueva Vizcaya on Thursday, July 28.
Police Chief Inspector Joberman Videz, chief investigator of the Aritao town police, said police found the Hyundai EON of Vhon Tanto at around 5 am on Thursday.
Videz said a concerned citizen reported the presence of the vehicle, bearing conduction sticker MO-3745, outside the house of Tanto’s brother-in-law, Jonathan Leano, in Kirang village in Aritao town.
Tanto is the primary suspect in the death of bicycle rider Mark Vincent Geralde, following a heated argument in Quiapo, Manila, on Monday, July 25. The incident was caught on a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera in the area.
Initial investigations showed that Tanto left the vehicle to Leano and told him that he and his family would travel back to Manila, then to Bataan, via provincial bus.
“Nagpaalam siya sa kamag-anak ng asawa niya na pupunta siya ng Bataan kaya iiwan muna niya yung sasakyan sa bayaw niya (He told his brother-in-law that he will leave his car to him for the meantime because they will go to Bataan),” Videz told Rappler.
Tanto, a Philippine Army reservist, reportedly arrived in Leano’s house around 6 pm on Tuesday, July 26.
Brother-in-law unaware of incident
Police said Leano was not aware of the incident when Tanto left his car with him. He only knew about it when he saw the TV report.
“Base sa pag-iimbestiga namin sa bayaw niya, hindi niya alam na [nakapatay si Tanto]. Napanood lamang nila ito sa news at nakaalis na ang suspek,” Videz said.
(Based on our investigation, the brother-in-law did not know that Tanto had killed someone. He said they only know about it when they saw in the news. By that time, the suspect had already left.)
Videz added that the suspect even asked Leano to accompany him to the Florida bus stop in Banganan Village. He said that the suspect rode a Cubao-Sampaloc bus via SCTEX.
Leano who will be subjected to further questioning at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, he said.
Tanto’s vehicle arrived in Camp Crame past 5 pm Thursday.
In Manila, where the crime happened, former president now Mayor Joseph Estrada announced a P100,000-reward to speed up the arrest of Tanto.
“I’m giving P100,000 for any information that could lead to the arrest of Tanto,” Estrada announced Thursday afternoon.
He urged Tanto to surrender to authorities and to not resist arrest if he is caught.
“Delikado siya ‘pag nahuli siya. ‘Pag lumaban siya, siguradong 6 feet under the ground siya (He’ll be in danger if he’s caught. If he fights back, he’ll surely be 6 feet under),” Estrada said.
MPD Director Senior Superintendent Joel Napoleon Coronel said on Wednesday that a manhunt would be launched if Tanto fails to surrender. – Rappler.com