THE Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group yesterday said it has foiled a reported attempt to spring a suspected car theft gang leader detained at the Bulacan Provincial Jail following the arrest of two armed men said to be involved in the plot during an operation in Quezon City.
PNP-CIDG director Chief Superintendent Roel B. Obusan said suspects Jomar Picock, a native of Solana, Cagayan, residing in Barangay Tungko, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan, and Norbert Vertucio, of Bgy. Citog, Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte, were found in possession of one Intratec 9mm machine pistol, one caliber .45 Taurus semi-automatic pistol, one cal. .38 revolver, one .45 magazine with seven live ammunition, six .38 ammunition, two 9mm magazines with 57 live ammunition, two M-16 magazines and two pairs of license plate numbers UOK-198 and UQI-269.
According to Obusan, members of the CIDG Anti-Organized Crime Unit led by Supt. Lawrence B. Cajipe launched the operation 3 a.m. Wednesday to arrest the suspects with the help of the CIDG Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Unit, the CIDG Major Crimes Investigation Unit and the QC Police District headed by Senior Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar amid an information that armed men on board a black Kia Soul with plate no. UOM-158 are involved in an attempt to spring Marc Lester “Mac” Reyes from detention.
The suspects, said to be members of an armed group called ‘Echo’, were reportedly set to deliver high-powered firearms to groups involved in the attempt to grab Reyes from his escorts after attending a hearing of his case at the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court Branch 125 last Wednesday.
Obusan said that a CIDG-AOCU informant gave the tip that led to the arrest of the suspects who were said to be acting on instructions of Reyes, the purported leader of the Mac Lester Carnapping Group operating in Metro Manila and Central Luzon until he was arrested and detained at the Bulacan Provincial Jail.
Officers accosted the suspects at the Jollibee parking lot in Philcoa, Commonwealth Avenue in QC and immediately whisked them to the CIDG headquarters after they yielded the guns and other pieces of evidence. The records of the confiscated firearms are still being checked with the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office by the CIDG-AOCU. The records of the recovered motor vehicle and the license plates were also being verified with the PNP Highway Patrol Group.
Both suspects are now being held at the CIDG headquarters, facing charges for violation of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.
Reyes himself is facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and carnapping. He has been charged in connection with the theft of a van belonging to television actor Aaron Villaflor.
Villaflor lost his Toyota Super Grandia at gunpoint along Quezon Avenue on March 8, 2014.
On August 13, 2014, members of the QCPD then under Chief Supt. Richard A. Albano arrested Reyes and his live-in partner inside a condominium unit in Caloocan City. Their arrested came following the capture of four of his accomplices in Malabon City who were found to be using an allegedly stolen Toyota Prado with plate number XRP 290 while on their way to a surplus store in Banawe, QC.