The online news portal of TV5
Police apprehended six “persons of interest” suspected of involvement in the torching of five buses of the DLTB bus company in its terminal in Lemery, Batangas Thursday evening.
Five of the suspects, most of them drivers of DLTB in Lemery, were positively identified as supporters of the union of drivers and conductors of DLTB who went on strike in protest against the bus company’s unfair labor practices.
Lawmen named the five suspects as Albert San Presentacion Gabriel; Lloyd Nicolas Ocares; Wilmar Biaca Caro; Arvin Arrellano Soliven and Joselito Santiago Guevarra.
A sixth suspect, Ernesto Garcia Villanueva Jr., was arrested following a hot pursuit operation in Alitagtag, Batangas.
Senior Inspector Hazel P. Luma-ang, chief of the Batangas Provincial Police Office information office, in a report to BPPO acting director Senior Supt. Leopoldo E. Cabanag, said the suspects were believed to be behind the burning incident at the DLTB bus terminal in Barangay Malinis.
According to the Lemery police, the DLTB employees kicked off with their strike around 2 p.m. Thursday in support of the Manila-based strikers.
Initial report by PO2 Camilo A. Manguiat of the Lemery police station who conducted police team visibility operation in the area later in the afternoon disclosed they have spotted a fire incident at the bus terminal in front of Xentro Mall.
This prompted Chief Inspector Rodel Sibalo Ban-o, Lemery Police Station officer-in-charge, to immediately dispatch his police personnel at the terminal to investigate.
Early Thursday evening, three buses were already totally damaged by fire while two others were partially burned at the DLTB bus terminal, the police reported.
Investigators quoted residents living near the terminal that they heard a loud explosion from the terminal parking area and witnessed that one bus was in flames.
A composite fire marshal team from the neighboring town immediately responded to control the fire and declared the fire out by 7:44 p.m. Thursday.
Scene-of-the-crime operatives (SOCO) who conducted a technical investigation of the crime scene estimated property damage at around P30 million.
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