SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: Six allegedly stolen rented vehicles were recovered on Wednesday night at the yard of Ichiban Import Export Corporation, a vehicle reseller located at the Argonaut Highway here, by combined elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Law Enforcement Department (SBMA-LED).
Two Toyota Grandia, a Toyota Commuter van, Two Montero SUVs and a Toyota Fortuner were found parked inside the yard after Roy Galang, who claims ownership of the Grandia and Commuter van, accidentally saw the missing vehicles when he accompanied a friend looking to buy a truck at the Ichiban yard.
Galang said he immediately sought the help of authorities.
According to him, a neighbor in Old Cabalan, Olongapo City—Roldan Bernardo—talked to him about renting his vehicles to a certain Noel Earl Meredith in December 2016 who will then bring the vehicles to former Zambales governor Vicente Magsaysay.
Galang said everything was normal during the first month with the rental paid on time until the succeeding months when Bernardo disappeared.
He described Bernardo as a runner for Meredith, allegedly the owner of Kale Beach in Olongapo City.
After seeing the missing vehicles at the Ichiban yard, he and his brothers went to police authorities in Olongapo to seek assistance and coordinated with SBMA-LED to claim the vehicles.
Galang and owners of other missing rented vehicles went with PNP and SBMA-LED to the Ichiban yard on Wednesday night where they positively identified the missing vehicles.
He said employees at Ichiban told them the six vehicles were brought there for storage and safekeeping.
A team from the National Bureau of Investigation–Olongapo and Highway Patrol Group also arrived and an NBI agent told them the vehicles were turned over by ex-governor Magsaysay.
The vehicle owners were instructed to report to the NBI office on Thursday where they were told file a complaint.
They had expected to get their vehicles back.
The Manila Times tried to get a reaction from Magsaysay but has not received any reply as of press time.
Galang said he and the other victims are reluctant to file a complaint against anybody but just want to get their vehicles back.