Prosecutor claims carjacked vehicle his

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


NORTHERN Mindanao’s top prosecutor denied involvement behind the case of a carjacked vehicle which he claimed his.

A document obtained by Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro stated that a certain Jose Cadampog, 59, of Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur, claimed ownership of the stolen vehicle which actually belonged to Regional Prosecutor Jaime Umpa.

In his complaint to the Zamboanga del Sur provincial police office, Cadampog alleged that his Toyota Fortuner with plate number ZEH 575 was grabbed by the Aurora town police on February 11, 2014.

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But according to the certification released by the Aurora police, the vehicle in question was a “known subject of a carnapping case now pending before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 38, Cagayan de Oro, docketed as criminal case no. 2012-1028, entitled ‘People of the Philippines versus Abdulsalam A. Magarang of Santiago, Iligan City and Asnawie Lao Masbud of Matampay, Marawi City…”

A letter sent by Umpa to Director General Alan Purisima of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame, said that Umpa and his wife Panoro were selling the vehicle to Magarang and Masbud.

Before buying the car from the Umpas, Magarang and Masbud allegedly requested the car for a test drive with a promise to deposit the payment to Panoro’s bank account in June 2012.

Umpa said the vehicle was never returned to them nor was the two prospective buyers showed up again.

According to sources, the stolen car was sold to Cadampog and was registered under his name in Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Danao City, Cebu of July 20 2012.

After two years of search, the car “was intercepted by said PNP team at the wet section of a public market in Poblacion [Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur], around 4 p.m. on February 11, 2014,” read the certification. The car is now under the custody of the police.

The manifestation issued by Umpa stated that Cadampog and Florito F. Caballero of San Isidro, Talisay, Cebu City, the alleged vendor of the car to Cadampog, will be included as additional accused in the case.

In his letter to Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary Leila de Lima, Cadampog said he was driving his vehicle, the Toyota Fortuner, last February 11 when the Aurora police apprehended and told him that the car belongs to Umpa.

"Without any court order and without my consent, Umpa, in conspiracy with the Aurora Police, took away the said vehicle after being held in custody for a short period. Aware of my rights, I demanded repeatedly from Umpa the return of my vehicle but he has refused to do so," Cadampog said in his letter to de Lima.

Cadampog claimed he has a Deed of Sale dated July 20, 2012 as proof of ownership of the vehicle, which he bought from CCR Car Display in Talisay City, Cebu, owned by Caballero.

Cadampog is currently pursuing carnapping charges against Umpa and the Aurora police before the Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Prosecutor's Office and a civil case of recovery of possession of motor vehicle with the Aurora Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 30.

Umpa, meanwhile, filed human trafficking charges against Cadampog before the Lanao del Norte Provincial Prosecutor's Office, which is under Umpa's jurisdiction.

Because of this, Cadampog asked de Lima to transfer the hearing of trafficking charges to Zamboanga City or Zamboanga del Sur fearing that he could not obtain a "fair and credible preliminary investigation" from Lanao del Norte prosecutors.

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro sent a text message to Umpa for further comments but got no reply. (With a report from Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 29, 2014.

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