Viral photo was a kidnapping: police
MANILA - Police believe a viral photo of several men pointing guns at a vehicle along EDSA's southbound lane was nothing less than an abduction.
The viral photo showed five men pointing guns at a white Toyota Fortuner just before the EDSA Ortigas flyover.
Four vehicles surrounded the Fortuner including a Toyota Land Cruiser in front, a Toyota Hi-Ace on one side and a Honda Civic in the back. A blue motorcycle with two passengers was also on the other side of the Fortuner.
Two witnesses said the incident occurred past 2 p.m. last Monday, September 1.
One witness claimed the armed men shouted at the people inside the Fortuner to get out of the vehicle.
"Narinig ko baba baba, tatlong beses at tinutukan," the witness said.
The armed men allegedly broke the window in the back of the Fortuner. The driver then got out of the vehicle and was forced inside the back of the Honda Civic.
One of the suspects then boarded the Fortuner and drove off.
The witnesses said the whole incident lasted about three to five minutes.
Senior Superintendent Job Marasigan, Eastern Police District deputy district director for operations, said the incident could not have been a legitimate police operation since there was no coordination coming from other law enforcement agencies.
He also pointed out that the driver of the Fortuner was forcibly taken and the vehicle commandeered by one of the suspects.
The witnesses said they could not recall the license plates of the vehicles.
Police said the Toyota Hi-Ace's conduction sticker had the letters "YY."
"We are asking the anti-cybercrime unit to enhance the photos," Marasigan said.
Police said another photo showed a passenger bus near the area, leading them to believe that the driver and passengers might have witnessed the crime.
Police have also asked the original uploader of the photo to coordinate with the police. The original uploader has removed the photo and deleted the Twitter account.
CCTV cameras of the Metro Manila Development Authority failed to capture the incident on video. Authorities are now checking if CCTV cameras in other parts of EDSA were able to record the vehicles before and after the incident.