Wig-wearing 'riding-in-tandem' killers unmasked as policemen

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 13 2016 08:13 PM

Two Philippine National Police (PNP) officers will be charged with murder after being unmasked as motorcycle-riding hitmen who shot dead a local woman, authorities said Thursday.

The policemen were wounded and arrested after a shootout with local police last weekend as they fled the scene of the crime in the central island of Mindoro, an official police report said.

Loaded handguns, a wig, and a face mask were among items recovered from Inspector Markson Almeranez and Senior Inspector Magdaleno Pimentel, it added.

Clad in civilian clothing, the two suspects allegedly shot dead a 51-year-old woman on October 9 outside her home in Gloria, a rural town on Mindoro about 170 kilometers south of Manila, according to the police report.

Police gave chase, unaware of the suspects' identity.

The authorities said the motive of the killing was unknown.

Almeranez was at the time the police chief of Socorro, two towns north of Gloria, while Pimentel belonged to another Mindoro police unit, it added.

The two suspects are under police guard at a local hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds and have been removed from their posts, the police statement said.

They are to stand trial for murder as well as attempted murder for shooting at the pursuing police, the report said.

The shootings occurred as Philippine police wage a brutal crackdown against illegal drugs that has left more than 3,300 people dead since President Rodrigo Duterte began his six-year term on June 30.

Some of those were drug suspects shot dead by police, while many others were gunned down by motorcycle-riding assassins, though there was no immediate indication the Mindoro case was linked to narcotics.