THE ARMY reservist who allegedly killed a cyclist last July 25 in Quiapo, Manila, was arrested Friday morning in Brgy. Bangat, Milagros, Masbate province (south of Manila).
Vhon Tanto was arrested at 11:40 a.m. while walking together with his wife, and was frisked by members of the Philippine Army intelligence group, reports said.
Army chief Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año credited the intelligence group for the arrest in a radio interview.
Tanto did not resist. He was not carrying a gun although reports said he had three licensed firearms, including the .45 caliber pistol allegedly used in the murder.
Sr. Supt. Rommel Anicete, Manila Police District (MPD) homicide section head, said his office had started communicating with Masbate police for the turn over of Tanto.
At the MPD, crime scene agents took fingerprints from the red Hyundai Eon (with conduction number MO-3745) owned by Tanto, and the bicycle of victim Mark Vincent Garalde.
Garalde died of five gunshot wounds, including the fatal head shot, during the “road rage” incident on P. Casal Street Monday night.
The Hyundai car was recovered on Thursday in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, at the house of Tanto’s brother-in-law.
Rossel Bondoc, 18, victim of a stray bullet, is still confined at Mary Chiles Hospital in Manila and is recovering.
In a related development, the Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosive Office (FEO) based in Camp Crame has revoked the licenses issued to Tanto’s three firearms.
FEO head Sr. Supt. Cesar Hawthorne Binag said his office had sent the revocation notices to Tanto at his Quiapo residence.
Tanto has three guns under his name: a caliber .45 Armscor and caliber .40 Glock whose licenses expire on Dec. 11, 2017; and a caliber .45 Norinco whose license expires on Dec. 11, 2016. He has no permit to carry.
Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan had dangled P100,000 each as reward money for any information leading to the arrest of Tanto. JAIME R. PILAPIL