One suspect in theft of Amorsolo identified 

The Silay  police have identified one of two suspects in the  theft of a painting by national artist Fernando Amorsolo  from the Hofileña Museum at Cinco de Noviembre Street in Silay City, Negros Occidental. 

The male suspect was identified by the driver of the trisikad  he and his  accomplice  boarded after stealing the 12 by 18 inches 1936 “Mango Harvesters” painting on July 3, PLt. Col, Mark Anthony Darroca, Silay police chief, said on Monday,  July 8. 

The suspect took off his mask when he boarded the trisikad enabling the driver to identify him from a police rouges gallery,  Darroca said. 

A case had been filed against the suspect for a “salisi” theft case in 2022, and his address was listed as Tondo, Manila, he said. 

The  female suspect has not been identified yet, he said. They are gathering other  CCTV footage to establish her identity, Darroca said. 

In the CCTV footage of her at the museum she was wearing a mask, he said. 

The male and female suspects disguised as tourists joined a tour of the Hofileña Museum on July 3. The male suspect took the multi-million peso Amorsolo painting and placed it in the bag of the woman, CCTV footage showed.

They then hurriedly left the museum, took a trisikad to the Silay plaza and boarded a public utility jeepney  to Bacolod.  

The police witness said the suspects were Tagalog and Cebuano speaking. 

The two  suspects could be part of a syndicate, Darroca said. 

Darroca said he would meet with the  Hofileña  family to ask if they are willing to file charges against the identified suspect. 

Rene “Boy” Hofileña, the administrator of the museum, said he is waiting for his nephews and nieces to arrive on  Tuesday as they will be the ones to make the decisions. 

They have also hired  a private detective  to investigate the theft of the Amorsolo, he added. 

The police are advising personnel of the Silay museums to observe security protocols, Darroca said.

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said his instruction to the police is “to do everything possible to recover that piece of art”. 

“Definitely we would like to recover that  very valuable piece of art,” he said. 

“We are banking on the expertise of the PNP  on how to trace the possible suspects,” Lacson said.*   

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