3 suspected carjackers killed in Benguet shootout

Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 10 2021 08:46 PM

Three suspected carjackers were killed after a shootout and car chase with police in La Trinidad, Benguet. Authorities say the suspects opened fired first. PNP HPG-SOD handout photo
Three suspected carjackers were killed after a shootout and car chase with police in La Trinidad, Benguet. Authorities say the suspects opened fired first. PNP HPG-SOD handout photo

BAGUIO - Three suspected carjackers were killed in an alleged shootout with policemen in La Trinidad, Benguet.

According to the PNP Highway Patrol Group, reports of a suspicious vehicle with no plate number prompted their Special Operations Group to conduct surveillance operations in Baguio City and its surrounding areas. The HPG said a red car was used in a series of robbery and hold-up incidents in Region 3, and the vehicle spotted matched the description. 

The HPG coordinated with the La Trinidad police, prompting checkpoint operations in the area. Police later spotted the suspected vehicle parked near a gas station. 

Police said when they tried to accost the vehicle, its occupants opened fire, resulting in a car chase. 

"Pagbaba ng crew ng ating mobile patrol ay agad itong pinutukan nagkahabulan hanggang dumating dito sa Barangay Silan. Ito po'y nasukol natin sa kalsada papuntang Baguio City, at nang nasukol ay agad silang nakipagpalitan ng putok," La Trinidad Police Chief Police Major June Tabigo-On said.

(When the crew of our mobile patrol got down, (the suspects) opened fire, causing a car chase. We cornered them on a road toward Baguio City, and they exchanged fire with our officers.) 

Two of the occupants died on the spot, while one died on the way to the hospital. One of the police's vehicles meanwhile sustained damage from the shootout. La Trinidad police said they have yet to identify the slain suspects.

"The neutralization of this criminal group is joint team effort by the PNP HPG, PRO3 and PRO Cordillera," HPG Director Police Brigadier General Rommel Marbil said in a statement. "While it is unfortunate that this group chose to throw away their lives, I am thankful to the Lord that none of our personnel were hurt during this encounter even as they put their lives on the line in the name of their sworn duties."