Mall robbery suspect gets bail-A A +A
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
DETAINED at the Cebu City Jail for more than a year, the alleged cohort of mall robbery suspect Junjun Cabando will gain temporary freedom.
Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 19 Judge Wilfredo Navarro granted Rolien Castro's petition for bail. He issued the order last Sept. 20.
The bail was set at P1 million for Castro, who was arrested by the Cebu City Intelligence Branch (CIB) on July 16, 2012.
Castro’s lawyer, Rameses Villagonzalo, said his client's family is raising the required bail through “loans and selling of real properties.”
Castro was tagged as an accomplice of Cabando when the latter allegedly led a robbery group that grabbed a bag containing P1.2 million from a bank teller at Robinsons Place on Sept. 5, 2011. He is facing charges for robbery with homicide before RTC Branch 19.
“Despite the presentation of several witnesses, the prosecution has failed to present any iota of evidence to warrant the conclusion or finding that he has conspired with the rest of the accused,” said Navarro in his order.
Navarro said, though, he will issue a hold departure order against Castro.
He also required the accused to report to the clerk of court on a monthly basis “to ensure that he has not taken flight.”
During the heist, Cabando's group allegedly killed two security guards of Puritan Agency, who escorted the bank teller in an armored car to the Robinson's Place mall.
But the money was recovered after a shootout with the police. Three of Cabando's men were killed.
Castro was arrested based on the testimony of Merly Laguitao, Cabando's live-in partner who was arrested in Misamis Occidental for allegedly helping Cabando escape.
The court ordered Castro to undergo a drug test upon leaving the jail.
Castro should also submit himself to paraffin test whenever required by the court.
“Castro and his family are happy with this development since from the beginning of his arrest he had been professing absolute innocence and non-participation in the robbery,” Villagonzalo said in a press statement.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 01, 2013.