Camp Vicente Lim, Laguna: Police are set to file formal charges on Thursday against two suspected female rebels tagged in the burning of eight buses inside the terminal of the Jam Liner Inc. in Lemery town, Batangas on Sunday.
Chief Supt. Jesus Gatchalian, Region 4 police director, said cases of robbery extortion and arson are being readied by Batangas police against the two “amazons” and twelve other John Does.
Gatchalian however said that only one of the two female suspects will be initially charged after being positively identified by the witnesses.
“She appears to be involved in the burning of construction equipment at Padre Garcia last year,” he said.
Gatchalian said they are now gathering more evidence and testimonies to link the other female suspect to the arson.
Around 12:55 a.m. on Sunday, at least 15 heavily armed men wearing camouflage uniforms entered the terminal of Jam Liner in Barangay Palanas and disarmed its two security guards.
The armed men ordered all drivers and conductors sleeping in the buses to step out, and then doused the buses with gasoline and set them on fire.
Police Officer 2 Richard Caragay, Lemery police investigator, said one of the employees quoted the armed men as saying that they were New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who were after the bus firm’s management.
Gatchalian, meanwhile said, based on their intelligence information, the suspects were indeed members of the NPA based in Batangas.
Reports said the bus company received an extortion letter bearing the letterhead of the NPA’s Melito Glor Command in October or November last year.
Gatchalian, however, down–played the claims of the communist rebels saying- “the Melito Glor Command operates in Quezon, it looks like a local group attacked the Jam Liner terminal.”
Witnesses said the armed men escaped on two vans and sped towards Calaca town, taking with them the security guards’ .38 caliber revolver and shotgun, a handheld radio, power supply for a desktop computer and the cellular phone of one of the guards.
Batangas Police Director Sr. Supt. Omega Jireh Fidel said the head of the Lemery police, Chief Insp. Arthur Divino, was relieved from his post after the incident.