The Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office has filed robbery-in-band charges against four of the 14 suspects in the P3.6 million heist at the Central Negros Electric Cooperative in March this year, before the Regional Trial Court, City Police Director, Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz, said yesterday.
De la Paz said the filing of the charges was recommended by Prosecutor Therese Blance Bolunia, and approved by City Prosecutor Amando Abanado on June 11.
He said the City Prosecutor’s Office found enough probable cause to file the charges against Reynaldo Bacolod, “alias Toto and Jay Mira”, Gerardo Saniel, “alias Gagang”, Roel Remedios, “alyas Yoyong” and Joseph Calaramo.
Bolunia said the four were positively identified by witnesses as the same persons who staged the robbery at the electric firm.
While the charges against the four were filed, complaints against Roel Alferez, Richard Sending Daguman and eight other John Does were dismissed for lack of probable cause.
In his counter affidavit, Alferez said the inclusion of his name among the respondents is erroneous, baseless and was clearly the result of a mistaken identity because he was in Tangub City, Misamis Occidental, and had never gone to Bacolod City in his lifetime.
Alferez presented the affidavits of his witnesses who told the City Prosecutor’s office that he was in Brgy. Isidro Tan in Tangub City and was attending a birthday party from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on March 2, when the robbery at CENECO happened.
Daguman, meanwhile, told the City Prosecutor’s office that he was surprised to receive a subpoena on April 14, 2012 indicting him for the crime and said that it could have been a case of mistaken identity.
Daguman said the suspect whose pictures were taken and appears under the name “Richard Tangkad Daguman ” is a different person, and not him.
Complainant Erwin Montalvo Montemayor, an Assistant General Manager CENECO, said in his affidavit that, at least, nine armed men swooped down on their firm at about 9 a.m. on March 2, disarmed their guards while two of them proceeded to the cash division office and took P3, 617,000 from their cash vault.
Now that the CPO has filed the charges against the four suspects, believed to be members of the Dipolog-Parohinog Crime Group, De la Paz said, they are now waiting for the release of their arrest warrant so they could arrest them.
De la Paz also said they may file an amended complaint at the city prosecutor’s office to include the name of Joseph Basco Lontayao , 41, of Brgy. Fatima, in General Santos City, in the list of CENECO heists suspects.
Lontayao, de la Paz said, has a similarity to “Joseph Calaramo”, was seen by a witness at the safe house of the CENECO robbery suspects days after the incident.
Lontayo introduced himself as a police inspector when arrested at Bangga C.P. near the Palawan pawnshop in April last year. Asked for proof, however, he presented an identification card showing that he is only a Police Officer 2.
Lontayao is also facing charges for attempted homicide and parricide, and acts of lasciviousness. Bacolod police also filed charges for usurpation of authority against him, police records show.*APN