4 Taguig cops under restrictive custody over alleged robbery

Four Taguig City cops are under restrictive custody after their alleged participation in the robbery of a Japanese national and his Filipina partner in Pasig City on Saturday.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos on Sunday ordered the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to hold under custody Staff Sgt. Jayson Bartolome, Cpl. Merick Desoloc, Cpl. Christian Jerome Reyes, and Pat. Kirk Joshua Almojera.

The four, assigned at the Taguig City Police Station, were among eight suspects who allegedly staged a robbery in Barangay Kapitolyo at about 12:10 a.m.

They reportedly held at gunpoint domestic partners Joana Marie Flores Espiritu, 26, and Japanese Kani Toshiro, 42.

Carlos also instructed NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. to place Maj. Nimrod Balgemini Jr., commander of Taguig Sub-Station 1, on administrative relief to preclude any possibility of undue influence in the investigation.

NCRPO has stepped up pursuit operations against two other suspects, dismissed cop Ferdinand Fallari and a certain Ruwel Galang, who eluded arrest.

AJ Mary Agnas, 22, who allegedly works for the victims, was also arrested while a certain Jhon Carlo Atienza, 30, was found dead with a gunshot wound at the corner of Kalayaan Avenue and Tolentino Street in Barangay Pinagkaisahan, Makati City.

According to initial reports, the suspects forced Toshiro to open a vault and scooped out an estimated PHP30 million cash and an expensive mobile phone.

While escaping on board four motorcycles, the suspects were engaged by alert police responders, triggering a brief shootout that resulted in the death of Atienza and the wounding of Bartolome.

According to the Pasig City police report, the suspects tossed paper bills amounting to about PHP1.3 million while cops pursued them.

ESCAPE ROUTE. Eight robbery suspects on motorcycles, including four active cops assigned in Taguig City and a dismissed cop, escaped through this gate after allegedly robbing a house in in Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City past midnight on Saturday (Dec. 18, 2021). The four cops and one civilian suspect were arrested. (Photo courtesy of NCRPO)

“This is dismaying. This is unacceptable. I personally went to the police station to see the police officers involved. I cannot accept any excuses for this act, robbery and extortion,” Danao said in a statement.

“The NCRPO vehemently condemns the act of robbery extortion involving four police officers. I immediately ordered their relief and a fact-finding investigation is currently being undertaken. I will make sure that cases will be filed against them and they have to face the consequences of their actions,” he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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