MANILA, Philippines — The police chief of Asignan town in Pangasinan said that news articles reporting that 80-year-old ‘Lolo Narding’ stole mangoes from a tree he planted were wrong, as he only picked them.
In a video posted by Asingan Police Station, police chief Major Napoleon Eleccion clarified that Leonardo Flores, who went viral after a landowner accused him of stealing 10 kilograms of mangoes, was never placed behind bars after police brought him to the police headquarters.
Instead, Eleccion said that Flores was treated well and provided food and medicines.
“Maling-mali naman po kasi ‘yong headlines na si Tatay, nagnakaw. Hindi po, namitas lang naman po ng mangga, dahil ang kine-claim ni Tatay, noong kabataan niya, no’ng bata pa, siya ‘yong nagtanim. So itong may-ari naman ng lupa, kine-claim niya, ‘yong lupa, sa kanya, pati na rin ‘yong mangga, which is si Tatay naman tinitignan niya mula pagkabata,” the cop said.
(It’s very incorrect that the headlines stated that Flores stole the mangoes. He just picked mangoes, because he says he was the one who planted them when he was young. Thus, the landowner claims, the land belongs to him, as does the mango, which Flores tended to since he was young.)
According to Eleccion, Flores failed to file a counter-affidavit, which led to an arrest warrant being issued. However, he also clarified that no physical force was used in arresting Flores since he was only taken to the station.
Flores was granted temporary freedom Thursday after several individuals chipped in — including officers from the Asingan police — to pay his bail.
In a separate video posted by the Asingan Police Station, a police officer told Leonardo Flores and his lawyer that the court had already allowed him temporary freedom after paying a bail of P6,000.
Reports earlier said that a councilor from the nearby Villasis town went to the police station to hand over the bail payment, which was given by a family from Canada. However, Asingan police chief Police Major Napoleon Eleccion said that the bail payment had already been covered by somebody else.
The case of the 80-year-old Flores, who was arrested for alleged theft for harvesting around 10 kilograms of mango from a tree he planted, went viral on social media after netizens noted that other politicians accused of stealing more money are allowed to roam freely.
The complainant supposedly claimed that Flores was getting mangoes from a tree inside his property, but the elder said that he was the one who planted it.
LOOK: Narding Floro, an 80-year-old man from Asingan, Pangasinan, was arrested on January 13, 2022 for allegedly stealing 10 kg of mangoes. | 📷: PIO Asingan/Facebook pic.twitter.com/bOkxO8m9r6
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) January 19, 2022