CABANATUAN CITY – One motorcyclist was killed while 413 tricycles/ single motorcycles were impounded in two days of simultaneous “Operation Sita” and “Mobile Checkpoints” campaigns launched by the Nueva Ecija police in 27 towns and five cities of the province to preempt commission of crimes by motorcycle-riding men.
On Saturday morning, a man later identified as Alexander Bernardino, 45, of Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija, was killed in an “armed encounter” when he refused to strop in a checkpoint in San Antonio town.
Aside from his gun, two plastic sachets of what was suspected as shabu were found in his pocket.
Many of the impounded tricycles and motorcycles were from this city which is informally called the “tricycle capital of the Philippines”.
In a 24-hour operation, from midnight of January 26 to midnight of January 27 alone, 186 tricycles were found without proper documents.
The vehicles were impounded at the PNP provincial headquarters compound here, according to Senior Inspector Jacqueline Gahid, public information of the Nueva Ecija police.
She added that the vehicles would be released as soon as the proper documents, certificate of registration, and number plates are presented by their owners.
“It was launched as an anti-crime operation to achieve zero crime rate in the province,” according to Senior Supt. Eliseo Tanding, police director of Nueva Ecija.
“It is in conjunction with the impact project on anti- crime campaign and enhanced managing police operations launched by the regional police command in Central Luzon,” he added.
He said his operatives from the provincial mobile force company here augmented the regional mobile force battalion. Of late, two high profile murders involving motorcycle-riding suspects, occurred in two places in Nueva Ecija.
They were the killing of retired priest Fr. Marcelito Paez, 72, who was killed in Jaen town last December 4, and that of Mary Anne Hernandez, 38, executive secretary of Gov. Czarina Umali in Talavera, Nueva Ecija last January 14.
In Sta. Rosa town, live-in partners Crisente Ablan Jr., 50, and Ofelia Mangulabnan, 44, residents of Tabuating, San Leonardo town, were shot and killed by a motorcycle- riding suspect along the highway fronting a public elementary school. The incident happened at 12:20 p.m., according to a police report.
These incidents were still under investigation.