3 suspects set fire to contractor’s backhoe

San Andres police investigators are trying to identify the three suspects behind the burning of a contractor’s backhoe early morning Sunday in barangay Bislig.

According to the report, two employees of ER Rodriguez Construction – laborer Jose Tito Pereyra, 52, of Bote, Bato, and farmer Romnick Samonte Abad, 27, of Bislig, San Andres – were sleeping inside a nipa hut at around 1 A.M. of May 24, 2020 when Pereyra felt the urge to urinate.

He was startled to see two unidentified men standing in front of him inside the hut, with one of them pointing a short firearm of unidentified caliber at him.

“Ops, dae maghiro at magribok!,” the man said, before instructing his companion, who was also armed with a short firearm, to tie up Pereyra and Abad.

He told them that they would not be killed, after which the two victims were tied up with two pieces of cable on their arms and feet.

The third, armed suspect who was outside the hut poured diesel from a container on the Caterpillar backhoe of the construction company, with the other two suspects setting fire to the heavy equipment.
One of them took Pereyra’s Vivo cellphone worth P5,000 before the trio walked towards the national highway.

The police said the backhoe of the company owned by former Bato Mayor Leo Rodriguez was being used in the construction of the farm-to-market road from Bislig to Cabcab being implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Initial investigation disclosed that five days earlier, on May 19, at about 5 P.M., three unidentified men went to the construction barracks at Cabcab where the company was constructing a seawall project.

One of them approached Pereyra and asked him where was ER’s barracks and the company foreman. When Pereyra replied that the foreman had gone home and only the checker was there, the suspect said, “Dae man nagtatao sa amo mi, aram an ni madam, tunongon ang trabaho!”

The suspect then went inside and talked to company checker Jessie Bernal, a resident of Cagraray, Bato, and then, after several minutes left on board a motorcycle together with his companions.

The report said the damage to the construction equipment was estimated at about P100,000.00.


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