Heavy escort for robbery suspect-A A +A
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
A SPECIAL team of five to seven Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) 7 personnel will escort robbery suspect Junjun Cabando on the first day of his court hearing.
Cabando’s escort will be backed up by BJMP 7 personnel on motorcycle as he is transported to the court and back to the Cebu City Jail.
Jail Warden Supt. Johnson Calub yesterday said he is worried that Cabando’s cohorts might try to rescue him.
“We might (also) get ambushed on our way that is why we need to double our security,” Calub said.
He, however, clarified that they did not receive any reports of attempts to rescue the suspect.
Cabando’s arraignment is on Aug. 14.
Cabando is inside a maximum security cell because he is deemed too dangerous, being a high-profile inmate. He will remain in solitary confinement until his conduct warrants his transfer to a common cell, Calub said.
Cabando was identified as the leader of the robbery group that grabbed a bag containing P1.2 million from a bank teller at the Robinsons Place Cebu last Sept. 5.
Chief Insp. Romeo Santander, head of the Intelligence Branch of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said another member of the robbery group, which is reportedly based in Ozamis City, has been spotted.
He said his men are conducting a follow-up on the whereabouts of a certain Francis, who allegedly had a hand in Cabando’s escape.
Cabando’s live-in partner Merly Laguitao and his alleged accomplice Rolien Castro also pointed to Francis as being involved in last year’s robbery.
In a related development, Castro’s lawyer, Rameses Villagonzalo, said his client should be removed from the Cebu City Jail, where Cabando is also detained. He said Castro’s life is in danger there.
Villagonzalo filed a motion yesterday, asking Judge Wilfredo Navarro to transfer his client to another facility like the detention cell at the National Bureau of Investigation, Central Command or the CCPO.
“There is an imperative need… as this would cause grave and serious security and safety concern on the part of Castro,” he said in the pleading.
Operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division 7 arrested Cabando, alias Dionisio Cabatingan, in Sindangan town in Zamboanga del Norte last July 12.
His arrest came barely 10 months after the botched Sept. 5 heist, which resulted in the deaths of three robbers and two security guards.
Cabando faces a robbery with homicide case, which is being heard by Judge Navarro of the Regional Trial Court Branch 19.
Castro, who allegedly acted as lookout during the heist, was arrested last Monday.
His lawyer said his client’s name was not included in the arrest warrant issued against Cabando nor was there a warrant for his arrest.
“The arrest of Castro is a case of ‘misery loves company’,” Villagonzalo said, adding that Castro had no involvement in the heist.
During the robbery, he said many will testify that Castro was at home in Minglanilla, Cebu.
“He was just there (home). His name never cropped up as one of the suspects,” Villagonzalo said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 18, 2012.