Man nabbed for ‘helping’ brains of Robinsons Place heist flee-A A +A
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
CEBU CITY – A man believed to be an accomplice of robbery suspect Dionisio Cabatingan, alias Junjun Cabando, was arrested Monday noon.
Cebu City Intelligence Branch (CIB) operatives arrested Rolien Castro in Pakigne, Minglanilla, Cebu at 11:40 a.m.
Witnesses pointed to Castro as the man who helped Cabando escape after he was shot.
Castro also allegedly served as a lookout during the heist in Robinsons Place and allegedly participated in shooting the policemen.
Castro denied the allegations, saying Cabando, who was arrested in Zamboanga del Norte last July 12, harbored a grudge against him.
“They were mad at me. We have a case in Ozamis and I am the only one who got dismissed that is why they were so angry at me,” said Castro, referring to Cabando and his team.
Cabando has been ordered detained at the Cebu City Jail in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City by Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Wilfredo Navarro, who issued a commitment order on Monday.
The court scheduled Cabando’s arraignment on August 14 for his cases filed by the police.
During the arraignment, Cabando will enter his plea after the reading of criminal complaints against him.
Cabando was identified as the leader of the robbery group that grabbed a bag containing P1.2 million from a bank teller at Robinsons Place mall on September 5 last year.
He is facing charges for robbery with homicide, frustrated homicide, and robbery with physical injuries in relation to the heist.
Also, Cabando and Castro had a warrant of arrest for a case of frustrated murder, among others, in Ozamis City.
But Police Officer 1 Elrich Catacutan, one of the policemen shot in the heist, said he is certain that Castro was the one who shot him.
“I saw him aiding Cabando after he was shot,” said Catacutan.
He said Cabando was not just a driver in the heist.
“I saw with my two eyes that he was back riding on the motorcycle. He was the one who shot me,” he added.
Castro was presented to the media Monday.
Cebu City Police Office Director Melvin Ramon Buenafe said Castro was arrested based on the testimony of Merly Laguitao, Cabando’s live-in partner who was arrested last Friday in Misamis Occidental.
Laguitao alleged that Castro, together with a certain “Francis,” all helped in Cabando’s escape.
“Laguitao is very cooperative right now, as she said it’s better to spill it out so that she won’t be hiding from the operatives anymore,” said Buenafe.
Laguitao served as the group’s lookout in the mall robbery in Cebu.
During the shootout, Cabando sustained a gunshot wound in the buttocks.
Two policemen who were part of the team that responded to the robbery and the bank teller were also wounded. (JBT/KAL of Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 17, 2012.