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Suspect arrested in EDSA ‘hulidap’

In this photo taken by a Twitter user, six men, armed with guns, approach a Toyota Fortuner along EDSA in Mandaluyong on Sept. 1.

MANILA, Philippines -  A suspect has been arrested in connection with a “hulidap” caught on camera by a Twitter user along EDSA in Mandaluyong City on Sept. 1, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II said yesterday.

In a text message, Roxas also said a manhunt is ongoing for other suspects.

The controversial photo shows six armed men taking custody of the driver of a white Toyota Fortuner, which investigators said may be part of an extortion scheme by rogue policemen.

Task Force WackWack, which spearheads the investigation of the incident, was able to trace the owners of the Fortuner and a Honda Civic used by the armed men, sources said. 

The owner of the Fortuner was identified as Maguidala Mamaruga Nasser, a Davao-based trader who also owns several businesses in Metro Manila, an insider who requested anonymity said.

National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Carmelo Valmoria admitted yesterday there is a positive development in their investigation of the EDSA “operation.”

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However, Valmoria refused to divulge more information, except that the investigation is ongoing and a hot pursuit is in progress.

He said there will be a press conference on the investigation at the lobby of the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame at 2 p.m. today.

Sources said Nasser’s Fortuner (ZEJ-588) was “boxed in” by a motorcycle, a Land Cruiser, a Honda Civic and a Hi-Ace.

A witness took a photo of the incident and uploaded the image, which went viral on the Internet.

The incident was also caught by the closed-circuit television camera of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, but the video was blurred since it was taken from a distance.

Breakthrough

Task Force WackWack, headed by Eastern Police District deputy director for operations Senior Superintendent Job Marasigan, got a breakthrough in the investigation when its members received a tip last Wednesday that Nasser owns the Fortuner, sources said. The informant also gave Nasser’s address in Davao.

The task force also established that the Honda Civic (ZHB-149), seen blocking the Fortuner from behind, is registered to Golden Arches Development Corp. Investigators have yet to clarify whether the car was stolen.

Rogue cops

Insiders claimed rogue policemen were involved in the “hulidap” as one of the armed men, clad in a green shirt, had a pair of handcuffs dangling from the back pocket of his pants.

A witness claimed that a motorcycle blocked the path of the Fortuner and three other vehicles boxed it in along EDSA.

He said the motorcycle rider, wearing a helmet, used the butt of a handgun to smash the Fortuner’s rear windshield and side window to force the driver to get out.

The driver of the Fortuner, believed to be Nasser, was transferred to another vehicle while one of the six men took over the wheel of the Fortuner before they sped off.

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