June 20, 2024

Investigation is ongoing to identify the five hijackers who were killed in a shootout with the police after attempting to escape via the Palispis-Aspiras Highway in Tuba, Benguet in the early morning of June 30.
After the fatal encounter, two of the suspects were seen wearing full police uniforms. 
Police Regional Office-Cordillera Spokesperson Capt. Marnie Abellanida said that upon verification of the identification cards of the suspects, one of the suspects bearing a police ID is not registered in the Philippine National Police system while the other police ID is of a dead police personnel.
The other ID cards – PhilHealth and National Bureau of Investigation Cards are still being processed.
Based on initial police report, one of the suspects, who earlier negotiated for the renting of a six-wheeler truck, agreed to meet with the truck driver midnight of June 29 in Swamp, Betag, La Trinidad, Benguet. 
From there, the truck driver was forced to transport the suspects to evade the checkpoints. It was then that an SUV where the other suspects rode followed the truck. Upon reaching a dark portion of Longlong Road, in Puguis, La Trinidad, the suspects dropped the driver and sped away.  
The truck driver immediately sought for help and called his wife to report the incident to the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station.
The LTMPS then coordinated with the Highway Patrol Group Special Operation Division Task Force Limbas, Regional Highway Patrol Group-Cordillera and Tuba MPS, which quickly launched an operation to apprehend the suspects. 
At Taloy Sur, Tuba, the police operatives saw the described vehicles and tried to apprehend the suspects but they sped away.
The suspects started firing upon the operatives, which prompted the police to fire back resulting to the deaths of the suspects, who were armed with short and long guns. No one was hurt on the side of the police.
Abellanida said police are also identifying if the SUV without a license plate is a stolen vehicle. – Ofelia C. Empian