JUST as his leave of absence was about to expire, SPO1 Adonis Dumpit surrendered to members of the Regional Security Agencies and Guards Supervisory Unit (RSAGSU) yesterday morning.
RSAGSU 7 Chief Rex Derilo and some officers picked up Dumpit at 11:20 a.m. in Quezon, Bukidnon and drove to Cagayan de Oro where they caught a flight to Cebu.
Handcuffed and sporting a mustache and beard, Dumpit was taken to the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 to meet with Chief Supt. Lani-o Nerez.
“Ako nalang ni atubangon kay ug magtago-tago ko, labaw pa ko sa anak ni (Janeth) Badana nga kriminal,” Dumpit told reporters, referring to Badana’s son, Ronron Go, whom he is accused of murder.
He found it unfair that his superiors were being asked to explain why he was not arrested. He said there were other cases wherein the suspects were not arrested or charged, but the police handling the case were not being accused of coddling the ones responsible.
He also took time to dispute some rumors circulating about him, including those about him escorting Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to a campaign sortie or about Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte hiring him to get rid of anti-communist members.
“Dako nang bakak (That’s a big lie),” said Dumpit, who will be presented to Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Ester Veloso today.
Since the courts were already closed and could not issue an order where to have Dumpit committed, Nerez said Dumpit was detained at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7.
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Patrocinio Comendador said that since the issuance of the warrant of arrest against Dumpit about two weeks ago, a middleman had been initiating “backdoor negotiations” for Dumpit to turn himself in.
He said the middleman is a close friend of Dumpit. The negotiation was made through text messages, Comendador said, until Dumpit finally decided to surrender.
Comendador said he was not involved in the negotiations and had never spoken to Dumpit when he was in hiding.
At 1:05 p.m. yesterday, Comendador received a text message from Dumpit, which read “Sir gud afternoon surrender ko karn igapakuha ko buda boundary davao ug bukidnon akong giingnan RD (referring to Nerez) downgrade o sa dili sir kamo may gibasol sorry sir (sic).”
(Sir, good afternoon. I will surrender today. Have me picked up at the boundary between Davao and Bukidnon. I told RD that I will surrender regardless of whether or not the charge against me is downgraded, otherwise you’d be blamed for my continued absence in Cebu. I’m sorry, Sir.)
Comendador sent two of his men to escort RSAGSU 7 Chief Rex Derilo, the immediate superior of Dumpit, in fetching Dumpit in Bukidnon.
Comendador said the police cannot be cited for harboring Dumpit because Dumpit had gone into hiding and the police in Cebu had tried to track him down.
Nerez, for his part, considered Dumpit’s surrender admirable.
Nerez said his decision to come out showed he still believed in the legal system and that he surrendered even if he was capable of hiding.
He said the case Dumpit is facing has affected some police officers, but he explained that it was a risk anyone in the service knew could happen to them.
For his part, Dumpit said he did not want to show he was feeling down because of the developments of his case.
“Kun magpakita ta nga nahadlok ta, ang pulis magpanuko na ug responde. Ma-low morale ta. Dapat magpakita ta na high morale ta (If I show them that I’m scared, my colleagues will be afraid to respond to crimes. I want to raise their morale),” he said.
Nerez also said they expected negative comments about the police’s failure to arrest Dumpit.
He pointed out though that it was Dumpit who called them up.
Dumpit’s lawyer Pedro Leslie Salva said they will file today a motion to ask the court to allow Dumpit to be detained at the CIDG 7.
Dumpit admitted part of the reason he hid was because he worried about his safety in a jail facility filled with persons he arrested.
Nerez hopes that if Dumpit has to be committed to the Cebu City Jail, he will be separated from other inmates.
Comendador, for his part, said Dumpit cannot be sent to the Cebu City Jail, given the number of people he had arrested who are now detained in the facility.
As for efforts to downgrade Dumpit’s murder case to homicide, Salva said the amended information from the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices is with the court.
They hope to have the warrant of arrest for murder recalled against Dumpit with the amended information. If they succeed, Dumpit would not be detained since homicide is a bailable case.
As for the plan to have them explain their failure to arrest Dumpit, Nerez said he has not received any order yet directing him to submit an explanation.
Dumpit can also rely on the support of fellow police officers.
Derilo said many have offered to help pay for his legal expenses.
Dumpit also chimed in that before leaving, his mother Carla also gave him an amount for bail, should it be granted. (With JTG)