MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Vhon Tanto, the Army reservist who is the main suspect in the road rage killing of cyclist Mark Vincent Geralde, has abandoned his vehicle in Nueva Vizcaya and took a bus to Manila, police said Thursday.
"May nag-tip daw kagabi na yung suspek na-sight sa boundary ng Nueva Vizcaya sa may Dalton Pass. Sinabi sa mga pulis dito at vinerify ng pulis at napatunayan na totoo nga, positive," Nueva Vizcaya police provincial director Senior Superintendent Mar Abugan told radio dzMM.
Police reports said Tanto left the vehicle in the house of his brother-in-law, Jonathan Leano, in Purok 3, Kirang, Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya.
Leano, 39, told police his brother-in-law had wanted to go to Bataan Wednesday morning. The Army reservist then asked Leano to bring him to the Pink Country (Florida Bus) stop in Barangay Banganan, Aritao in Nueva Vizcaya Wednesday.
Leano said Tanto boarded a Florida bus going to Sampaloc-Cubao via SCTEX.
Police have recovered Tanto's vehicle, a red Hyundai Eon without plate number bearing conduction sticker MO-3745. Authorities said Tanto acquired the vehicle through a memorandum of agreement last June 1, 2016.
According to Abugan, the vehicle is set to be turned over to the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group (HPG) in Camp Crame.
Leano, who Abugan said is considered a "person of interest," will also be brought to Camp Crame for further questioning.
"Baka sakaling makapag-reveal siya ng information," the police official said.
PNP HPG director Senior Superintendent Antonio Gardiola said a manhunt operation, in cooperation with the Manila Police District (MPD) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), is ongoing against Tanto, who he said is now back in Manila.
Philippine Army (PA) chief Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año on Wednesday confirmed that the suspect in the killing of a cyclist in Quiapo, Manila last Monday is a member of the Army's reserve force.
According to Año, the suspect, Tanto, is a reservist with a rank of private. He is assigned at the 1301st Community Defense Center, National Capital Regional Community Defense Group of the Army Reserve Command in Caloocan City.
Año said he has already directed the Army Reserve Command to conduct an investigation into the involvement of Tanto in the killing.
CCTV footage earlier showed the driver of a Hyundai Eon shooting bicycle rider Mark Vincent Geralde after a fistfight along P. Casal Street.
Police recovered several bullet shells from a .45 pistol at the crime scene.
A civilian, 18-year-old Rosell Bondoc, was hit by a stray bullet during the shooting. - With a report from Henry Atuelan, dzMM