Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has offered a P100,000 reward for anyone who can provide information for the arrest of Vhon Martin Tanto, the motorist who shot dead a cyclist in a road rage incident in Manila Monday.
The bounty was offered after a shoot-to-kill order was issued against Tanto Wednesday night.
“To other witnesses, please come out and help the police authorities. We’re also asking the public’s cooperation for the immediate arrest of the suspect. Any information will be a big help to our law enforcers,” Estrada said.
Senior Superintendent Joel Napoleon Coronel, Manila Police District (MPD) acting director, met with Estrada yesterday to update the mayor of developments on their efforts to capture Tanto.
The MPD gave Tanto until 5 p.m. Wednesday to surrender. When he did not show up, it issued an order to shoot Tanto if he resists arrest.
“The full strength of the Manila Police District will go after him… Dead or alive, we want him,” Coronel said.
Hours after the MPD issued the shoot to kill order, Tanto, a former Army reservist, drove to Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya and left his car at the house of his brother-in-law, Jonathan Leano.
He did not stay long.
According to Leano, Tanto arrived at 3 a.m. Thursday. He left two hours later.
Senior Supt. Mar Abugan said the car, a red Hyundai Eon with conduction sticker MO-3745, was recovered at the residence of Leano in Barangay Kirang after the Highway Patrol Group of the Philippine National Police was tipped that Tanto was sighted in the Dalton Pass Wednesday night.
Leano told police that he accompanied his brother-in-law to the Pink Country Florida Bus stop in Barangay Banganan in Aritao on Wednesday night. Tanto boarded a Florida bus going to Sampaloc, Manila.
However, Leano told the police that Tanto planned to go to Bataan.
Tanto’s car was brought to Camp Crame, the headquarters of the Philippine National Police in Quezon City.
Tanto shot dead Mark Vincent Garalde after a heated traffic altercation and a brief fistfight. CCTV footage showed the two wrestling briefly after the former confronted the latter. Tanto went back to his car to get a gun. Garalde was just about to mount his bike when Tanto shot him in the head at close range. The former Army reservist shot Garalde four more times before returning to his car and speeding off.
A teenager, Rosell Bondoc, who was near the scene, was hit by a stray bullet.
Abugan said Leano will also be brought to Camp Crame for further questioning.
“Leano may be able to help reveal more information on the whereabouts of the suspect who may now be somewhere in Manila,” Abugan said.
Bondoc showed signs of recovery after undergoing surgery at Mary Chiles Hospital, one of her attending doctors said.
Dr. Domingo Reyes yesterday said they removed the bullet that penetrated Bondoc’s lower back that damaged her kidney. From the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), she will be transferred to a recovery room either today or tomorrow.
Bondoc’s aunt Rowena Dungca said her niece has regained consciousness and could now communicate through hand signs.
The victim is a sophomore at the Universidad de Manila (UDM), where she is a city government scholar.