HE wanted to fetch his sister at the pier a day after New Year’s Day in 2015.
But Marcelino Catalan will spend 14 to 17 years in jail after he was found guilty of stealing a taxi by enticing its driver to breakfast last Jan. 2, 2015.
Judge Soliver Peras of the Regional Trial Court Branch 10 found Catalan, a vendor in the Carbon Public Market, guilty of carnapping.
“The accused gained possession of the vehicle and there was actual gain,” said Peras.
Prosecution witness Jonathan Amigable Bas, taxi driver of Tiger Phraca Inc., testified that he was driving on B. Rodriguez St. when Catalan flagged him down.
Catalan instructed Bas to bring him to Pier 4 in Cebu Ciy, but the former directed Bas to pass by Plaza Independencia to eat breakfast.
When breakfast was served, Bas said that Catalan walked toward the taxi and drove away.
Replying to the charges, Catalan said he asked for permission from Bas if he could drive the taxi. The driver offered him the key, and in turn, Catalan left the key and registration receipt of their motorcycle to Bas.
Peras, however, rejected Catalan’s defense.
“No taxi driver in his right mind would part the vehicle from his passenger by the prodding of anyone,” he said. (GMD)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on January 18, 2018.
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