Still no suspect in P15.6-million gold heist in Itogon


BAGUIO, Philippines – P15.6 million gone in a few seconds. Unidentified armed suspects held up a vehicle of the Itogon Suyoc Resources Incorporated (ISRI) that contained gold buttons early Monday morning, June 10, in Itogon, Benguet, and easily carted off the gold.

Itogon police said that the suspects waited for the vehicle driven by Radito Quinto with escort Benny Canor at about 3:30 in the morning of June 10 at Sitio Bagingey, Poblacion, Itogon, Benguet.

Quinto and Canor said that the road was blocked by a huge boulder. When they alighted from the vehicle, the suspects, armed with long rifles and pistols, declared a hold-up.

They asked the two to lie face down on the ground, took the key to the service vehicle, and then drove their getaway car to the direction of Dalicno in Barangay Ampucao.

The police investigators found steel spikes planted by the suspects along the road and the key just ten meters from the vehicle.

The gold buttons obtained by the suspects are Button 165 weighing 1.67 kilos; Button 166 at .7359 kilos; Button 167 at 1.2115 kilos; Button 168 at 1.3689 kilos; Button 169 at 2.0806 kilos; and Button 170 at 1.5297 kilos.

The gold buttons had a total weight of 8.5966 kilos (250.743 ounces) and a total estimated value of P15,646,363.

Itogon Municipal Police Station officer-in-charge Police Major Romel Sawatang asked the Police Community Precinct Personnel and the neighboring town's police to conduct checkpoints in order to apprehend the suspects.

ISRI, formerly the Itogon-Suyoc Mining Corporation, has a mining claim in the Sangilo area in Itogon and was acquired by the Apex Mining Company for P183 million in 2015. –