THE Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the trial court’s decision convicting a policeman from Aloguinsan, Cebu for threatening to kill a cockpit bettor in 2004.
The appeals court’s 19th Division Decision denied the appeal of police office 3 Albert Triplitt Jr., who was convicted of grave threats by the Regional Trial Court branch 29 in Toledo City.
The appeals court ruled that Triplitt was correctly convicted of grave threats and sentenced to three months in jail. The police officer was also ordered to pay a fine of P500.
Triplitt was charged with and convicted of grave threats after he threatened to kill one Francisco Teleron, who tried to collect payment of his winnings from the policeman.
Court records showed that Teleron and Triplitt engaged in a P200 bet over a cockfight in Barangay Poblacion in Aloguinsan town last April 11, 2004. Teleron reportedly won the bet against the policeman.
But Triplitt ignored Teleron’s winnings and instead went on a drinking binge with his companions.
When Teleron asked again his winnings from the policeman, the latter told the complainant to follow him in his house so he could pay the complainant.
But when they arrived in the policeman’s house, Triplitt allegedly told Teleron, “Maningil ka sa imong daug? Patyon tikaw! (“Are you asking for your winnings? I will kill you!”).
Triplitt then held Teleron’s hand while his other hand was holding his .45 caliber pistol and pointing it at Teleron’s head.
The policeman’s wife intervened and grabbed the firearm, giving Teleron an opportunity to flee.
Prosecution witness Eldebrando Peñalosa testified he saw Triplitt pointing his gun at Teleron.
Another prosecution witness, Kim Patatag, corroborated Teleron’s testimony. She testified that he saw Teleron run from Triplitt’s house towards the national road in Barangay Poblacion.
Patatag also testified seeing Triplitt came out of his house and appeared to be infuriated.
Triplitt, in his testimony, denied he pointed his gun at Teleron, or threatened to kill the latter.
While he admitted going to the cockpit on April 11, 2004, Triplitt said he was there to serve the arrest warrant for one Felipe Gualin, who was reportedly inside the cockpit.
The police office denied he went to the cockpit to place bets. He also denied losing a bet to Teleron, saying it was a certain Rushkie who lost the bet.
Since Rushkie wanted to borrow money from him, Triplitt said he instructed the former and Teleron to follow him in his house so he could lend the money.
Triplitt gave P200 to Teleron, but the latter refused. Teleron then walked out and Rushkie instead kept the money, the policeman said.
The defense witnesses also corroborated the policeman’s testimony and denied the gun-toting incident.