Prosecutor: I am a victim of smear campaign

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Thursday, May 1, 2014


THE carjacking allegations hurled against Regional Prosecutor Jaime Umpa had affected his bid for leadership of the Prosecutors League of the Philippines (PLP).

Umpa said he lost the presidency for the PLP having been charged with carnapping and harassment that was aired on television the very day of the league’s election on April 24, 2014.

Umpa has been filed with charges of carnapping and harassment by Jose Cadampog who alleged the former for taking his vehicle through policemen in Aurora town in Zamboanga del Sur.

But, Umpa said the car that Cadampog claimed ownership of was his, which was stolen two years ago and finally found in Aurora.

The news report about his case was aired on ABS-CBN at 6 a.m. and text messages were disseminated about charges against him hours before the election.

He lost the presidency with a 16-vote margin and finally ended his two-year consecutive terms.

“It was used as a black propaganda to blacken my name,” he said.

“How can I control the PNP (Philippine National Police) [in Aurora]? I cannot even control the PNP in Cagayan, how much more outside,” Umpa said, referring to accusation that he used the police in Aurora to seize the Toyota Fortuner that Cadampog drove.

He added it would be unthinkable for him to carjack his own vehicle.

He said that he was able to track down his missing vehicle by inquiring at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for the location of the car and the highway patrol of Zamboanga del Sur to set checkpoints around Aurora.

Checkpoints had to be set up because a car cannot immediately be halted on the spot.

Cadampog, Umpa said, will be charged with carnapping case under the violation of the anti-fencing law where he bought an allegedly stolen car despite his claims of ‘buying in good faith.’

The arraignment will be on May 28, 2014. The said car is now with Umpa.

The other three names involved in the carnapping case are Abdulsalam A. Magarang and Asnawie Lao Masbud, the first two names in the case and those alleged to have ran away with the car; and Florito F. Caballero, the alleged vendor of the car to Elbina, are now at large.

Umpa said that the car was first owned by his wife’s relative, Zaldy Macawadip. The car was sold to her without the deed of sale.

When the car was stolen, the alleged thieves forged Macawadip’s signature for the deed of sale to make it appear that the car was sold to them.

The car gained clearance from the highway patrol because the suspects possessed a deed of sale and the Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration. (Riz Sunio and Jan Michelle Dumlao/MUST Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 01, 2014.

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