FOR eight years, the Umpad brothers—Jhon Vincent, Ruben and Jerome—languished inside the Mandaue City Jail.
Last Friday, they were set free after their murder and direct assault cases were dismissed after they availed themselves of the Supreme Court’s Enhanced Justice on Wheels program.
According to their grandmother Conchita, Jhon Vincent, Ruben and Jerome celebrated their release by planning to leave for Manila last Monday for a vacation.
But past midnight, the three brothers were dead, killed in a shootout with police.
According to Chief Insp. Michelangelo Beltran, their informant told them that Jhon Vincent continued his illegal drugs activities, prompting them to conduct a buy-bust against him inside the Cebu International Convention Center complex, where the Umpads were temporarily staying.
So let me see… Jhon Vincent was selling drugs inside the jail during this whole time and jail management had no inkling?
Sounds incredulous, doesn’t it?
But even if that were the case, then shouldn’t jail management be also held liable for allowing Jhon Vincent to operate a drug business inside the facility?
Then yesterday, Mandaue City Police Office Director Roberto Alanas said that “the Umpad siblings had been taught how to transport and distribute drugs after they were freed.”
In other words, Alanas is asking the public to believe that the Umpads, after eight years of incarceration, were eager to enter the illegal drugs trade even though they knew all too well that if they did, only two things could happen to them: get a go to jail card or die. And they chose the latter?
Although that’s not even my beef. Didn’t anyone notice that Alanas’s statement contradicted Beltran’s?
Last Monday, Beltran said Jhon Vicent was already engaged in the illegal drugs business. That the latter continued his activities after he was set free. Or so the informant told his office.
That doesn’t jibe with what Alanas said the very next day. That the siblings were new players in the trade.
Jean, the brothers’ mother, denied the allegations that her sons were involved in the drug trade.
Conchita had said that her grandsons were asleep when the police team arrived around 1:05 a.m. But Beltran said Jhon Vicent was transacting with their poseur-buyers. When the latter sensed that he was the subject of a buy-bust, he allegedly entered their temporary shelter, informed his brothers of the police presence.
Beltran said Ruben and Jerome immediately pulled out their guns, adding that Jerome was even able to fire his gun.
His men shot back, several times, and killed Jhon Vincent, Ruben and Jerome.
They were treated like pigs, Jean said.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on October 05, 2017.
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