The alleged mastermind of the EDSA highway robbery or “hulidap” that took place on September 1 is still on the lam, reports say,
Senior Inspector Oliver Villanueva, reportedly the brains behind the crime, has been absent without leave (AWOL) from the La Loma police station in Quezon City, where he once served as head of the intelligence and investigation branch until he was relieved of his post when his involvement in the crime came to light.
QCPD director Chief Superintendent Richard Albano said yesterday that Villanueva’s continued absence since his implication in the crime could be grounds for his utter dismissal from police service.
Should the AWOL police officer continue with his absence for a period of 30 days, he will be dropped from the roster of the QCPD and face dismissal proceedings, Albano added.
Villanueva was one of ten police officers implicated in the highway robbery. Three of the officers were Vilanueva’s classmates in the Philippine National Police Academy Class of 2001 – Chief Inspector Joseph de Vera, Senior Inspector Alan Emlano and dismissed Inspector Marco Polo Estrera. The remaining six were non-commissioned officers.
Thus far, eight of the police officers have surrendered to authorities. Villanueva and Estrera remain at large.
Aside from the administrative ramifications of the crime – which may result in dismissal from the police force – all ten suspects face charges of brigandage (highway robbery), kidnapping and serious illegal detention before the Mandaluyong prosecutor’s office.