crimes in the Philippines

1 of 2 gunmen in Nueva Ecija bus shooting incident arrested

Joann Manabat

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1 of 2 gunmen in Nueva Ecija bus shooting incident arrested
The suspect is identified as Allan delos Santos, an alleged member of the gun-for-hire group operating in Nueva Ecija and Isabela provinces

One of the suspected gunmen who was seen in a viral video shooting dead a pair of live-in partners inside a bus in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija was arrested by authorities in Dilasag town, Aurora province last November 20.

The suspect was identified as Allan delos Santos an alleged member of a gun-for-hire group operating in Nueva Ecija and Isabela provinces, said a statement released on Tuesday, December 12.

Nueva Ecija police director Colonel Richard Caballero said the suspect was caught in Aurora attempting to elude arrest.

May patawid ng Isabela through boat ngayon nag struggle siya doon, di siya makabiyahe dahil maalon. Nakitira lang siya sa mga shanties doon sa gilid-gilid,” Caballero told Rappler on Tuesday, December 12.

(He was trying to cross Isabela by boat. However, he struggled. He couldn’t travel because it was rough. He was only staying in shanties by the shore.)

Authorities are still gathering information on the location of the other gunman, alias “Umpak” as the manhunt operation continued. 

Yung isang kasama niya ay subject pa rin ng manhunt operation namin. Sa ngayon naaconcentrate kami sa possible arrest ng isang suspect kasi mahirap ang ganyang klaseng tao na armed and dangerous,” he said.

(His companion is still the subject of a manhunt. We are now concentrating on the possible arrest of the other suspect because it is complicated pursuing these types of suspects who are armed and dangerous.)

Delos Santos was allegedly hired by Charlito Atilano to kill his mother Gloria Atilano and her partner Arman Bautista inside a Victory Bus Liner for P60,000 each.

A criminal complaint for two counts of murder was filed on December 11 against Delos Santos and four others before the prosecutor’s office in Nueva Ecija. 

Caballero said there were only two gunmen. However, a vehicle with three other individuals was also following the bus prior to the gunmen riding the bus.

“At the terminal in Cauayan City (Isabela) they attempted to ride (the bus) but they couldn’t because the bus was full. They went ahead to Cordon. However, it was still full so no one could ride. Then they went to Bombong where they were able to ride the bus.” 

Caballero said based on the confession of Delos Santos, the son of the victim, Charlito, was inside the car. 

According to Caballero, the gun-for-hires have been elusive, trying to remain unidentified until they can escape the prosecution. He added that with modus that was implemented, they are considered as gun-for-hires.

“If you notice the crime only happened in our area of responsibility but they are actually in Isabela. What they did is tricky. They forget each other after the incident. No cellphone numbers saved.”

Caballero also said the motive was the conflict between the mother and his son.

Ang initial na motive as we go along the investigation yung pagfile ng mother sa kanya kasi ninakawan niya yung sarili niyang nanay at tinangay yung sasakyan. Not necessarily about properties pero yung hidwaan nila malalim na.”

(The initial motive as we go along the investigation, was the case filed against him by his mother because he took her car. It was not necessarily about properties but their conflict is already deep.)

Provincial police regional director Brigadier General Jose Hidalgo Jr. said in his statement that the suspect also has “strings of warrant of arrest for statutory rape and sexual assault.”

Hidalgo said police operations will continue that will lead to the arrest of the other suspects.

Atilano and Bautista were shot dead by two armed men while they were sleeping inside a bus last November 15. –

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