By Abi Kwok
First Posted 12:12:00 09/13/2010
MANILA, Philippines–A group of notorious robbers tagged as responsible for the attack on the brother-in-law of former presidential daughter Luli Arroyo last June was arrested by authorities in an operation on Sunday, police officials said on Monday.
The car chase spanning from Pasay to Paranaque cities wounded three suspects, identified as Raul Lumantas, Junreal Gumanay, and Robert Sia, and caused the arrest of one Cirilo Paja, said Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, chief of the Highway Patrol Group.
The group was accosted by authorities at 2:30 p.m. Sunday on the Airport Road in Pasay City after staging a robbery.
The group had just taken P17 million from a victim who was still to be identified, Espina said.
The chase led to a brief exchange of gunfire, ending at the South Greenpark Subdivision in Merville, Paranaque.
The same group was also allegedly behind the attack on Arroyo’s brother-in-law, George Bernas, last June. Bernas and his wife had just come from the United States when they were attacked.
Espina said the modus operandi of the group was to fake a car accident by hitting at the victim’s car. Once the victim alights from the car, the group will declare a hold-up and will take not just the victims’ money and belongings but also the vehicle.
The group moves with around 15 to 20 members.
Lumantas and Gumanay are being treated at the Philippine National Police General Hospital while Sia is confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Aside from the four, police are still looking for over 10 suspects.
Espina said the operation against the group is two-fold: proactive, meaning to arrest all suspects, and defensive, that is to safeguard all passengers.