SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, Sept. 17 (PIA) - - Police operatives have presently exhausting their all-out efforts to identify the suspects and motive in the ambush of former Pangasinan governor Amado Espino Jr. along the road in Barangay Magtaking in San Carlos City, Pangasinan on September 11, 2019.
Police Brigadier General Joel Orduna, the regional director of the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1), said the members of the created Regional Special Investigation Task Group (RSITG) Espino Jr. have considered all angles in the on-going investigation for the immediate solution of the incident .
"Such issues and angles we are looking in the on-going probe to the motive and the suspects of the incident are politics, business rivalry and personal grudge," Orduna said.
He appealed to those who witnessed the incident to come out and help identify the gunmen.
Meanwhile, Orduna said the owners of the abandoned vehicles, suspected to be used as gate-way vehicles by the suspects on the Espino ambush were already identified. The vehicles' owners were asked to report to police authorities.
"The Hyundai Elantra, which was recovered loaded with high-powered guns at Barangay Cobol in San Carlos City hours after the incident, was originally owned by Marivic Villanueva. It was, however, sold to two more persons before it was presently owned by Jewel Castro," he said.
The alleged owners of the vehicles have presented the copies of deed of sale but these are still subject for verification considering that the conduction sticker of the Elantra vehicle is reportedly fake, according to Orduna.
The Ford Everest, which was recovered in Barangay Pasima in Malasiqui town also loaded with high-powered guns, was reportedly owned by a certain John Paul Regalado, Orduna said.
He said that the firearms and fired cartridges from the two cars were subjected to ballistics, cross-matching, and micro-etching examinations to find out if these were involved in other crimes and if serial numbers were defaced or tampered.
It was recalled that former governor Espino Jr. was on board in his Toyota Land Cruiser with his aides riding in a backed-up Toyota Innova vehicle when they were rained with bullets by the gunmen aboard a red Hyundai hatchback and a metallic blue Ford Everest. The suspects fled towards Malasiqui town after the incident.
Espino Jr. and his aides Kervin Marfori and Staff Sergeant Jayson Malsi were hurt during the incident. They are now out from danger.
However, one of his aides, police Staff Sergeant Richard Esguerra was killed on the spot while the other one, Agapito Quizon died while being treated in the hospital.
Orduna also said that Anthony Columbino, one of the drivers of Espino during the ambush, had voluntarily reported to the authorities.
"Columbino, who escaped after the incident due to fear, is under the custody of San Carlos City police and he still needs to explain. Initially, when he was asked, he said it was out of fear that's why he fled," he added. (JCR/FGL, PIA1)