CAMP GENERAL ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan?The brothers Raymond and Roger Dominguez, alleged leaders of a car theft gang linked to the recent killing of a Metro Manila car dealer, have faced at least 28 criminal cases in various courts in Bulacan and Pampanga since 2007.
Records showed that the cases mostly involved car theft, with a few others involving robbery, violation of the election gun ban, and illegal drugs. One of the car theft cases against Raymond included a homicide charge.
Raymond, 26, the younger of the brothers who turned himself in to the Bulacan police last weekend, has 18 pending cases in the Bulacan Regional Trial Court in Malolos City.
A 19th case, an illegal drugs complaint filed at RTC Branch 76, also in Malolos in 2007, had been dismissed.
His brother, Roger, 29, is facing 10 car theft cases?one in the Bulacan RTC and nine in a court in Angeles City in Pampanga.
Lawyer Joey Cruz, who handles the defense for the brothers, said he did not know of any other case against them in other courts.
Cruz said Raymond, who previously surrendered to the Bulacan police last November, was granted temporary freedom after he completed payment of at least P1.5 million in cash bond to cover part of the P3 million recommended bail bond for his 18 cases.
Raymond was released from the Bulacan provincial jail on Dec. 29.
Cruz said a person whom Raymond had asked to post bail for his cases made the last bail transaction on Dec. 29, paving the way for his release.
The last two cases settled on that day were car theft complaints filed by Teresita Balaga, Cristina Roxas and Frincee Tanghal at RTC Branch 19 in Malolos. The cases were filed in 2010.
The court recommended a bail bond of P180,000 in the case filed by Balaga and P300,000 in the case filed by Roxas and Tanghal.
Cruz said Roger had posted bail for the nine cases he is facing in the Angeles City court. A car theft case filed against him in the Bulacan RTC Branch 28 in Malolos had been dismissed while he had posted bail in another case.
In 2010, eight car theft cases were filed against Raymond.
These were two counts filed by Danilo Valerio Parian in the Bulacan RTC Branch 78. The court recommended a bail bond of P300,000 for each case.
The other cases were filed by Susan Dulalia at Branch 20 (recommended bail bond: P150,000), Roberto Rafael at Branch 83 (P300,000), Eleuterio del Rosario at Branch 79 (P300,000), Dante Escoto at Branch 84 (P180,000), Jonathan Villarin at Branch 79 (P300,000) and Jacinto Jose Lutao at Branch 21 (P300,000).
Cruz said Raymond posted bail in a case of car theft with homicide filed in 2009 at Branch 11.
While the court recommended no bail, Raymond was allowed to post a P200,000 bail bond after Minerva de Guzman, the widow of Jose Edwin de Guzman, driver of a Hyundai Starex van the brothers allegedly stole, submitted to the court a letter of desistance, Cruz said.
Roger, who was included in this case, was also allowed to post bail.
Records showed that De Guzman was driving the van of his employer, Dr. Cesar Villanueva, in Malolos City when Raymond allegedly stole the vehicle at gunpoint.
Advice to surrender
Cruz said a series of car theft cases filed against Raymond came after the De Guzman case.
?As Raymond?s lawyer, I advised him to surrender after that case, but he did not want to give himself up,? Cruz told the Inquirer on Monday.
?After that incident, all carjack cases and other crimes in Bulacan were attributed to him. These charges have yet to be proven in court.?
Raymond is also facing robbery charges filed in 2010 by Eleuterio del Rosario (recommended bail bond: P100,000) and Mary Ann Villarin (P100,000), both in the Bulacan RTC Branch 79.
A case of robbery with violence and intimidation was also filed by Dante Escoto at Branch 84.
A case for illegal drugs use filed against Raymond at Branch 76 in 2007 has been dismissed. Police also filed in 2007 a case against Raymond for possession of illegal drugs at Branch 6. Raymond posted a P200,000 bail in that case.
The Bulacan police also filed a complaint for gun ban violation against Raymond at Branch 15. The court recommended a bail bond of P24,000.
Raymond also posted a P40,000 bail bond for a theft case filed by Lazaro Rodriguez at Branch 83 last year.
Cruz said he expected Roger to surface and place himself under police custody anytime soon.
Raymond turned himself in on Saturday night, saying he feared for his safety after he was linked to the murder of car dealer Venson Evangelista two weeks ago.
Cruz said that before Raymond sought police custody, he was regularly attending the hearings of his pending cases.
No special treatment
Senior Supt. Wendy Rosario, acting Bulacan police director, dismissed speculations that the police had been giving Raymond special treatment.
?He is not a guest here. He submitted himself to voluntary custody because his family feared for his safety,? Rosario said.
Raymond, who is in the Bulacan police camp, is not under arrest because the police have yet to receive an order to arrest and detain him, Rosario said.