The Catanauan Municipal Police Station announced the arrest of four men who were involved in the arson of a passenger minibus in Barangay Dahican on the night of January 31, 2024.
The suspects, who used aliases such as “Ernesto”, “Noel”, “Dominic”, and “Jade”, were from different provinces and had various occupations such as sales manager, civil engineer, and film director. They were tracked down to Mi Casa Resort in Barangay Butanyog, Mulanay, where they were staying in a Mitsubishi Mirage car.
The police said that the suspects intercepted the minibus, which belonged to Gumaca Transport Group and was driven by Carl Bayer Villanueva, while it was traveling from Barangay Dahican to Poblacion of Catanauan. They ordered the driver, conductor, and three passengers to get off and turn around, saying that it was not a hold-up. Then they used a “gasera” to ignite the minibus, causing severe damage but no injuries.
The investigation revealed that the suspects had a road rage incident with a jeepney driver from Gumaca to Catanauan, and also threatened a Gumaca Transport Minibus dispatcher who took a picture of their old model jeepneys in Gumaca.
PBGEN Paul Kenneth T Lucas, Director for CALABARZON police, praised the Catanauan Municipal Police Station for their quick and effective response to the incident. He also thanked the witnesses who provided vital information that led to the identification and capture of the suspects.
“This shows the strong partnership between the police and the community in ensuring the safety and security of our region,” he said.
The suspects are now in police custody and will face arson charges and other possible offenses based on the investigation.
PBGEN Lucas also urged the residents to be alert and report any suspicious activities to the authorities. “Your cooperation is essential in preventing and solving crimes in our communities,” he said.