MANILA, Philippines - Torture and murder are not part of the modus operandi of 6 carjacking syndicates being targeted by authorities, the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) said on Wednesday.
In an interview, Highway Patrol Group spokesman Senior Superintendent Edwin Butacan identified 6 carjacking syndicates in the PNP's order of battle. The 6 are the Dominguez Carjacking Group, Bonifacio Carnapping Group, Madrigal Carnapping Group, Herrera Carnapping Group, and Bundol Gang.
Butacan said police captured some members of the syndicates but were forced to let them go after they posted bail. He said some of the neutralized groups could reform or mutate to continue their illegal activities.
None of the syndicates, however, mutilated and set fire to their victims similar to what happened to Emerson Lozano, driver Ernane Sensil and Venson Evangelista.
Emerson, son of lawyer Oliver Lozano, and Sensil were mutilated and their bodies torched in Pampanga and Tarlac provinces. Emerson, who works for a construction firm, was selling a Kia Carnival owned by his employer.
A used-car dealer, Venson Evangelista, was also kidnapped and killed the same way. His burnt body was found in Nueva Ecija province also in Central Luzon.
Butacan said carjackers usually poke guns at their victims and then seize the vehicles. He said the carjackers only shoot their victims if they fight back.
He said the murders of Lozano, Sensil and Evangelista were unusual since they were brought to a distant location, tortured and then killed. He said Lozano's car, a Kia Carnival, is not usually targeted by carjackers.
Butacan said police are doing background checks on the victims. One angle being pursued is that the victims were also part of a group.
Which car is carjacker's 'favorite?'
Quezon City has the highest number of carjacking incidents reported since last year, Butacan said, followed by Manila, Makati, Marikina and Mandaluyong.
He also identified 6 vehicle models that are most targeted by carjackers. These are: Toyota Vios, Mitsubishi L-300, Honda Civic, Nissan Urvan, Isuzu Crosswind and Hyundai Starex. Report by Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News