9:35 am | Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
MANILA, Philippines — Four men believed to be car thieves were killed in an alleged shootout with police authorities in Antipolo City on Wednesday before dawn, a few hours after the car of a Korean national was stolen in a nearby town.
Senior Superintendent Manuel Prieto, Rizal police chief, said the firefight, which lasted for about four minutes, happened at a chokepoint on Blue Mountain Drive in Barangay (village) Sta. Cruz, Antipolo City around 2 a.m.
Three of the suspects died on the spot while one was rushed to the Amang Rodriguez Medical Center but was later pronounced dead on arrival.
The identities of the suspected car robbers remained unknown as of Wednesday morning.
Prior to the encounter, a Korean identified as Sang Gu Choi went to a police station in Taytay, Rizal, before midnight to report a robbery incident.
The Korean told the police his gray Chevrolet with plate number XBL-353 was taken from him at gunpoint by four armed men along Ortigas Extension in Barangay San Isidro in Taytay.
Prieto said immediately after the incident was reported, the police issued a flash alarm and ordered a dragnet operation to block all the possible exits of the robbers.
Two hours later, the robbers were cornered by a joint team from the Antipolo police, provincial police and the Highway Patrol Group at one chokepoint.
“Perhaps thinking there is no way to escape, the suspects opened fire which prompted our men to retaliate,” Prieto said.
No one was hurt on the side of the police while the stolen car was recovered and would soon be turned over to its Korean owner.