Ombud indicts town’s ex-police chief for ‘robbery’-A A +A
Saturday, September 29, 2012
FOR allegedly pointing their guns at a businessman and stealing P100,000 from him, a police official and his four unidentified men will face trial in court after they were charged with a criminal case by the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices.
Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Maria Teresa Rafols found enough evidence to indict Senior Insp. Leo Logroño, the former Pinamungajan Police Station chief, and company with robbery, a violation under Article 294, paragraph 5 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Section 9 of the Republic Act 7659.
Bail was set at P100,000 for the accused.
Before his money was stolen, Alberto Ongcoy alleged that the accused pointed their guns at him, his wife and two helpers in Barangay Anislag, Pinamungajan on Aug. 1 last year.
Logroño, in his counter-affidavit, denied the allegations.
In his complaint, Ongcoy said they went to the barangay to buy some copra or dried coconut meat. They were carrying P210,000 in cash.
His wife, Marcosa, carried the P110,000 cash, while the remaining P100,000 was placed in the compartment of their multicab.
Later, a jeep arrived. Five persons alighted, rushed toward them and pulled their firearms. One of the gun-toting men told them not to run.
Logroño was the only one in uniform, while the rest were in civilian clothes, said Ongcoy.
Marcosa disembarked from the multicab and went inside one of the houses nearby to seek protection.
“I then asked them why they had to aim their firearms at us,” said Ongcoy.
He said Logroño “barked back” and told him to surrender his .45 pistol. Ongcoy gave the gun and documents to show he was authorized to carry it.
Some of the accused later went to his vehicle and opened its compartment.
Ongcoy asked Logroño if they had a search warrant, but the latter did not answer. The accused later left the area.
“My wife and I checked the compartment, and truly all that was left was the empty bag. The P100,000 inside the bag was gone,” he said.
The allegations of the complainant are corroborated by Marcosa and his helper, Rey Anthony Abella.
Logroño said they rushed to Barangay Anislag after receiving a call from a concerned citizen, who reported the presence of armed men buying copra.
He said they approached the complainant and introduced themselves as police officers.
“We told the people in the vehicle and those around that we will be frisking them,” he said. “(Ongcoy and his wife)…arrogantly berated us and angrily demanded for a search warrant.”
Logroño said he “courteously” explained that they don’t need a search warrant since they have a “probable cause of searching and frisking” the couple based on the information they received about armed persons.
But Rafols, in her resolution, said the police official failed to convince her that they had a “valid ground” for searching the complainant without warrant.
“What is convincing is the complainant’s straightforward allegation that the respondent and his men, without valid grounds, threatened them by pointing their guns at them, and with the use of force or intimidation, took away their money,” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 29, 2012.