MANILA – The purported mastermind of a brazen police-orchestrated highway robbery or “hulidap” which took place on last September 1 voluntarily surrendered to the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Camp Crame Thursday night.
The suspect, Senior Inspector Oliver Villanueva, has denied his alleged involvement in the crime. He has been placed under restrictive custody; which means he is confined to the CIDG building, under close guard.
CIDG spokesperson Chief Inspector Elizabeth Jasmin said that Villanueva surrendered to the CIDG 8 p.m. of Thursday, in the company of his lawyer, Magnum Agpaoa.
In a phone interview with reporters from ABS-CBN, Agpaoa said the allegations against his client are false; claiming that Villanueva was part of another police activity at the time of the highway robbery.
Agpao said that although it took his client 2 weeks to turn himself in, due to security reasons, Villanueva is looking forward to voicing his side of the matter.
He also noted the lack of a warrant of arrest against his client, who faces charges kidnapping, car theft and “robbery in band” before the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor’s Office for the incident.
Nine policemen have been charged with the same, relative to the abduction and robbery of two employees of a Marawi-based businessman as they traveled along EDSA on September 1.
While in their vehicle, the victims were cornered by the policemen, who forcibly took them to the La Loma police station. At the station, they were stripped of 2-million pesos in cash and their bank machine cards. The victims were detained for several hours, before they were released and told to remain silent, under threat of retribution.
A photograph of the highway robbery, taken by a witness, quickly went viral on the internet; thereby alerting authorities to the crime.