Cop in rob-kidnap case eager to air side
MANILA, Philippines–The alleged mastermind of the robbery-abduction incident on Edsa last month had long wanted to face the allegations against him and clear his name.
An official of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame, Quezon City, said that Senior Insp. Oliver Villanueva’s surrender was voluntary.
“He wanted to face the allegations and answer them, that’s why he was accompanied by a lawyer when he gave himself up on Thursday night,” CIDG spokesperson Chief Insp. Elizabeth Jasmin said on Sunday.
Jasmin, quoting Supt. Romeo Baleros of the CIDG’s Detective Special Operation Unit (DSOU), said that Villanueva arrived at the CIDG office around 8 p.m. on Thursday to surrender to authorities. He was with his lawyer, Magnum Agpaoa.
The police official will be placed under the restrictive custody of the CIDG in Camp Crame. This means that he must report every day to the DSOU and he cannot leave the CIDG building.
His surrender came more than two weeks after he appealed to the victims’ employer—through another lawyer—to drop the charges against him, citing their Muslim ties. His request, however, was turned down.
Jasmin said she has yet to personally talk to Villanueva, 38, the chief of the intelligence and investigation branch of the La Loma police station in Quezon City.
Last Sept. 1, a motorist uploaded a photo on Twitter which promptly went viral. It showed several men surrounding and pointing their guns at a sport utility vehicle on Edsa.
The captured scene turned out to be a robbery-abduction case reportedly involving 10 policemen, mostly assigned to the La Loma police station.
They were accused of kidnapping two employees of a Mindanao-based contractor, taking them to the police station, holding them for several hours before taking the P2 million in cash they were carrying.
Villanueva was tagged by his fellow policemen as the alleged mastermind, leading to a revamp at the police station.
Jasmin said that they would bring the police official to court when summoned by the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor’s Office for the preliminary investigation of the charges of brigandage and kidnapping with serious illegal detention case filed against him.
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