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Police eye 10 suspects in Espino ambush



SAN CARLOS CITY, Pangasinan – About 10 unidentified assailants ambushed a convoy of former Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr. Wednesday afternoon, police said yesterday.

Pangasinan Police Provincial Office director Police Col. Redrico Maranan said they have persons of interest but they want to establish a solid case against them first.

“We’ve done dragnet operations, backtracking of closed circuit television cameras, and we have a team solely dedicated in CCTV footages. We are on the process of taking composite sketch based from the statement of eye witnesses,” he said.

Maranan said from their assessment, the suspects are members of a gun-for-hire group, considering the weapons used and their execution of the crime.

He disclosed that authorities recovered more than 169 empty shells of high-powered guns from the crime scene.

Hours after the ambush, authorities recovered two suspected get-away vehicles – a bluish silver Ford Everest and a red Hyundai Elentra – loaded with high-powered guns in Barangay Cobol here and Barangay Pasima in Malasiqui, this province.

Found inside the  Ford Everest were a fragmentation grenade, two M14 rifles, four magazine assembly for M14 rifle, an M16 rifle, a baby Armalite, and three magazine assembly for M16 rifles.

Maranan said they recovered from the Hyundai Elantra two M16 baby armalites, a M16 rifle, five short magazine assembly for M16, four long magazine assembly for M16, and 34 live ammunitions for M16.

“We are still identifying the owners of the cars and we have coordinated with the Land Transportation Office and the Highway Patrol Group. We are also waiting for the ballistic report on the firearms then the cross-matching to see if these were used in other crimes,” Maranan said.

Aside from the two recovered vehicles, he said, they are also looking for a Toyota Wigo allegedly used by the suspects.

Police forensics, he said, are conducting bullet trajectory on Espino’s convoy, an Innova and a Land Cruiser.

Maranan said the motive for the incident has yet to be established by the authorities as it will be anchored from the pieces of evidence.

He also said Espino had received death threats. “The former governor wrote to us last week about the threats he was receiving, so we gave him temporary security details,” he said. (PNA)