The current string of armed robbery-holdups has continued, with unidentified suspects taking at least P170,000.00 in cash from an employee of the Agricultural and Rural Development for Catanduanes, Inc. (ARDCI) the other Monday in Pandan.
According to reports reaching the office of Catanduanes police OIC-provincial director Senior Superintendent Jeffrey Fernandez, ARDCI community development officer Benny Repato, 36, a resident of Cobo, Pandan, was with civilian escort Arnel Talion, a resident of Dariao, Caramoran, when the incident occurred at 3:30 P.M. of March 6 at sitio Kogon, barangay Baldoc.
On board a motorcycle, the victims were traversing the road going to Pandan proper after collecting the weekly repayments of clients from barangays Tokyo and Lourdes when they were flagged down by two unidentified males. One of the suspects was more or less 5’4” in height, of medium build, with a shirt covering his face and armed with a bolo, while his companion was about 5’7”, of medium build, with a bonnet covering his face, and armed with a short firearm of unknown caliber.
The suspects announced the holdup and took away the victim’s backpack containing the cash, ARDCI forms, calculator, stapler, passbook, withdrawal slip, driver’s license and other documents. The armed men then fled immediately after the crime.
Early that same morning, canteen owner Romeo Sapico, 65, of San Roque, Virac, awoke to find that his canteen had been robbed by unidentified persons who destroyed the padlock of the main door. The culprits carted away a half sack of rice, a portable radio, 12 boxes of Vitaplus products, five packs of cigarettes, a necklace, documents and a travelling bag containing P7,000.00 cash.
Meanwhile, a resident of Tubli, Caramoran has been charged with robbery after witnesses identified him as among the six men who robbed at gunpoint two persons in San Isidro, San Andres last Feb. 20.
The report stated that the name of Joey de Leon came up during the thorough investigation of witnesses conducted by the police. However, the rest of the suspects remain unidentified.
According to the report, Jemar Bechayda and Joan Meriña were on board a motorcycle going to Virac when they were flagged down by the suspects at sitio Kalumagon at about 12:30 P.M. of Feb. 20. Wearing bonnets and armed with firearms of unknown caliber, the suspects took the victims’ cash amounting to P60,000.00, a cellphone and Beriña’s driver’s license before fleeing on board the victims’ motorcycle.