by Phil News Agency – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Dumaguete City and the local police have vowed to dig deeper into an attempted carnapping incident Thursday evening during which the driver of the car was also allegedly shot by the would-be perpetrators in what is now perceived to be a developing and baffling case.
The separate but coordinated investigations come as Lowell (not his real name), 24, a 3rd year law student at one of the universities in Dumaguete, on Friday sought the help of the NBI-Dumaguete, claiming that he believes those who attacked him were law enforcement agents connected most likely to the police.
Lowell recounted that around 7:20 p.m. Thursday, while he was driving his Kia Soul car on the way to school along San Jose Extension in Dumaguete, a sport utility vehicle (SUV) of unverified make and model and dark green in color suddenly swerved in front of him and blocked his way.
He recalls that four men, two of whom were carrying handguns, alighted from the SUV and approached him. Wearing civilian clothes, the men came around, told him to get out of his car, without identifying themselves as persons of authority.
Sensing trouble, Lowell said he reversed the car and sped off, during which he heard at least four gunshots after the unidentified suspects discharged their firearms.
According to Lowell, he took a long route, going through the outskirts of the city before proceeding to the police station. During this time, he noticed that the SUV had put up a chase and was following right behind him, with blinkers on.
Lowell said that as soon as he reached the police station, he went to the front desk to have the incident reported. It was only then that he noticed that his two rear tires were flat and the hood of his car was punctured. His family and some friends also later came to the police station, he said.
What bothered him and his family was that he SUV had allegedly followed him all the way to the police station. Upon seeing the vehicle, he pointed to the police that it was the same unit he had encountered earlier.
Lowell and his mother told NBI-Dumaguete chief, Atty. Dominador Cimafranca, that they believe the SUV and the men inside had some sort of links to the police based on circumstances that took place at the police station.
Both said that a cop carrying an armalite rifle had gone up to the SUV and talked to the men inside. Immediately afterwards, the men left on foot while the SUV was still parked inside the city police station compound.
Lowell’s friends managed to take photos of and write down the plate number of the pursuing vehicle while at the police station. On Friday, the same vehicle could no longer be seen at the police station, they added.
The victim said that while he had immediately reported the incident to the police, he has lost confidence and trust in them, fearing a possible cover up as based on events that took place at the police station.
Lowell and his mother, residents of Daro in Dumaguete, requested their identities hidden as they feared for their lives.
Meanwhile, Supt. Crisaleo Tolentino, Dumaguete police chief, assured that he will take the necessary action and impose sanctions if any of his personnel on duty at the time was found guilty of “mishandling” of the complaint or failing to provide the necessary accommodations to the victim.
Tolentino, however, said he was not aware of the purported arrival of the vehicle in pursuit at the police station. Neither does he know of any vehicle assigned to the police station that matched the description provided by the complainant.
But, NBI’s Atty. Cimafranca disclosed they have already coordinated with the Land Transportation Office in Dumaguete to do a trace on the vehicle, whose plate number was tampered.
Though not giving details of the vehicle, Cimafranca said the NBI has the name of the owner to whom it was registered and that it was registered in Mindanao.
Cimafranca said they will conduct an investigation independent of that of the Dumaguete police but in coordination with the same to get to the bottom of the incident.