Casino security officer who stole P2.8 M surrenders to police in CapizBy Felipe V. Celino and Chito Aragon
ROXAS CITY, Philippines—An internal security officer of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. in Cebu City who took P2.8 million from the Casino Filipino in Mandaue City last month has surrendered to the police in the town of Panay in Capiz, police said Friday.
Senior Police Officer 1 Romeo Sol Ortencio of the Panay police station told the Inquirer in a telephone interview Friday that casino security officer Pascual Urian, 29, gave himself up at 10 a.m. Thursday, turning over P1.4 million of the P2.8 million he took from the Casino Filipino Parkmall branch in Mandaue City.
Urian told the police it was his aunt, Maria Elena, and her husband, PO2 Patricio Magusara, who convinced him to give up. He was accompanied by his brother Michael and Magusara, who is assigned to the Panay police, when he turned himself in.
According to Ortencio, Urian told the police he was tempted to steal the money early in the morning of July 14 to sustain his gambling and drug vices. The guard admitted he was a frequent online gambler and had piled up huge debts.
While Urian refused to be interviewed by the press, a regional police official reported him as telling investigators he used part of the money he had stolen to pay his debts and other expenses.
According to Ortencio, Urian told investigators that after stealing the money he stayed in Cebu for about a week before taking a ferry to Dumaguete. From there he took a bus to Bacolod City, passing through San Carlos City where he took a boat to Iloilo and then proceeded to his aunt’s place in Panay where he hid until he surrendered.
Inspector Bryan Fallera, Panay police chief, said the Capiz police director, Senior Superintendent Domingo Cabillan, ordered Urian’s transfer to the provincial police headquarters in Roxas City. It was to Cabillan that he turned over the P1,485,500 of the P2.8 million he had stolen.
Cabillan said policemen from the regional command and Pagcor representatives fetched Urian Thursday night and were scheduled to take him back to Cebu Friday morning.
Last July 14, Urian, who had been working for Pagcor for four years, was seen by a woman guard carrying a plastic bag containing cash as he was about to leave the casino building.
Asked why he was bringing a bag of cash, Urian did not reply but instead ran outside the building although it was raining.
Guard Violeta Angsigbat then rushed to the police Special Weapons and Tactics housed at the back of the f Pagcor building to report the incident.
But the Swat officers failed to arrest Urian, who scattered P500 and P1,000 bills, causing pedestrians to make a mad rush for the money.
The police eventually recovered P80,000 from the bystanders who were still around.