Published: 11:27 a.m., July 11, 2018 | Updated: 11:09 p.m., July 11, 2018
SAN PEDRO CITY — Police on Wednesday recovered the vehicle used by gunmen who shot and killed Trece Martires City Vice Mayor Alexander Lubigan.
Senior Supt. William Segun, Cavite provincial police director, said the suspects tried to deface the markings on the vehicle, a black Toyota Hilux pickup truck, but investigators were hopeful they could trace its owner.
“We’ve talked to the HPG [Highway Patrol Group]. There is still a way [to get identification marks], like a secret number [on the vehicle],” Segun said.
“This is a big development to identify the suspects,” he added.
A resident found the car near the Mabacao-Pantihan Bridge in Maragondon town, Cavite, at 7 a.m. The site at Barangay Tulay is about 25 km away from Trece Martires City, where Lubigan was attacked on July 7.
While it did not have a plate, the pickup truck matched witnesses’ description of the vehicle that the gunmen used.
Senior Insp. Rez Alovera, Maragondon police chief, said the car engine was “still warm” when police arrived.
He said the car could have been abandoned between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Wednesday.
Policemen, he said, did not find any firearm inside the
Residents, police said, did not see anyone leave the vehicle in that remote part of the village.
Segun said the vehicle’s chassis and engine numbers were “erased with a grinder.”
From Trece Martires, investigators traced the gunmen’s route, using security camera footage, as heading toward Indang and Naic towns.
‘Persons of interest’
The suspects, police said, tried to push the vehicle into a swollen river.
Boulders, however, blocked the car’s path and stopped it from falling into the water some 3.048 meters (10 feet) below, police said.
“The doors were left open because it would be easier to sink the vehicle,” Segun added.
Police were eyeing three “persons of interest” in the crime but they refused to disclose any other information.
Investigators believed politics was the motive in the killing of Lubigan, who had made known his plans to run for mayor in 2019.
/lb /pdi /atm
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