By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Police recovered 1,000 bags of sugar valued at P3.2 million inside a warehouse in Barangay Busay, Bago City, Negros Occidental on Tuesday, a day after two wing van trucks were allegedly hijacked by unidentified persons in La Carlota City on Monday night.
Police Colonel Leo Pamittan, director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), said these products were located after they saw loopholes in the statements of the two drivers.
Major Joeil Reclamado, Murcia town police chief, said that two truck drivers were rescued after they were discovered hogtied and blindfolded at the back of the wing van trucks reportedly abandoned by unidentified persons in Barangay Pandanon early Tuesday.
According to the drivers, they were supposed to deliver the sugar to Iloilo from Binalbagan town when they were allegedly flagged down by five unidentified persons in the area of La Carlota City on Monday night.
Reclamado said that the drivers alleged that they allowed these persons to board their vehicle, as they thought that they were co-drivers.
But these persons allegedly hijacked the vehicle and took the two drivers to various places before abandoning them in Murcia town.
“Kung matagal silang nakatali, may mga sugat na dapat. Possible may mga kasama sila kasi parang bagong tali lang sila,” Reclamado said.
Pamittan said in an interview with Aksyon Radyo Bacolod that the incident was initially reported as a case of hijacking based on the allegations of the drivers, only to find out that it was a case of “hijack me.”
“Based doon sa investigation sa dalawang drivers, nakitaan sila ng konting pagsisinungaling and then we dug deeper,” he added.
Pamittan said that their investigation was aided by the statement of the truck owner and the buyer of the sugar, who revealed that the trucks have a Global Positioning System (GPS) which tracked the movement of the vehicles.
Pamittan said the truck drivers and the warehouse caretaker connived in the case.
He said the vehicles stayed in an isolated area in Pontevedra town for almost seven hours, contrary to the earlier statement of the drivers that they were taken to various areas.
“Sa tubuhan nag stop. Hindi mataong lugar. How come doon hihinto for several hours? That alone can manifest na something is wrong,” he added.
Pamittan said that one of the drivers also later revealed to the police that the sugar was unloaded at a warehouse in Bago City.
Based on the investigation, police also found out that nine persons were hired to unload the sugar from the two trucks. The trucks were loaded with 500 bags each.
Pamittan said the recovered bags of sugar, the two wing van trucks, and the two drivers will be placed in the custody of Bago City Police Station.
Appropriate charges will be filed against them, as well as to the other conspirators.
With this incident, Pamittan urged the public to report to the police in case they sighted vehicles parked for hours without any activity to avoid similar incidents.