‘Accidental’ shooting leads cops to gang’s camp

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

A MAN injured in an “accidental” shooting and the “suspicious” action of the person taking care of him led Toledo City police officers to a suspected robbery group in the neighboring City of Naga.

The Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor filed, Thursday, criminal cases for illegal possession of firearms against Rommel Adaro, Joseph Lawas, Jordan Bariquit and Jomar Placencia.

“The accused (did not opt) to avail of his right to preliminary investigation,” wrote Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Manuel Degollacion of his decision to file the cases immediately. The four were arrested only on June 2.


But the police have yet to file robbery charges against the four who, upon orders of the court, have been committed to the Naga jail. They may post bail at P80,000 each.


Acting Director Patro-cinio Comendador of the Cebu Provincial Police Office earlier said the four may be connected to a Mindanao-based robbery group and that they were behind the holdup of delivery trucks in northwestern and southwestern Cebu.

Placancia told reporters earlier that their group was involved in robbery and Lawas was their leader. Lawas denied the charge, saying Placancia, Adaro and Barluit were the robbers.

The illegal possession of firearm cases were based on the joint-affidavit of SPO2 Henry Acosta and PO3s Alfredo Barquin, Thule Tahadlangit and Benedicto Bobilles Jr., all of the Toledo City Police Office.

The policemen said the arrest came only after they were told, on June 1, that somebody, later identified to be Edward Abao of Misamis Oriental, was being treated at the Toledo City District Hospital for a gunshot wound.


“We immediately responded to the call,” they said, “and went to the hospital.”

At the hospital, the police found Lawas taking care of Abao.

Lawas said he merely found Abao by the side of the road in Magdugo, Toledo City, bloodied.

But the police got suspicious because they discovered that Lawas also paid for Abao’s medicines.

Lawas, who is reportedly a former driver of a television network, later admitted that Abao was wounded in a shooting incident in Sitio Suton, Pangdan in the City of Naga.

Abao allegedly also identified the one who shot him as Adaro who was “his company in a
series of robbery and holdup activity in the said area.”


The police went to Suton and found Adaro of Polanco Zamboanga del Norte; Placencia, of Tinubdan, Daanbantayan; Bariquit, the only one from Naga; and Lawas, who hails from Cabungahan, Danao City, in a makeshift camp.

All four were armed with two pistols and two revolvers and a motorcycle, which does not have registration documents. KNR

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 11, 2011.

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