Cop hailed for stopping P1.6-M rob try

ROXAS CITY—The city council commended a policeman for foiling snatchers about to take the P1.6-million Christmas bonuses of teachers of a public high school.

In a resolution passed on Thursday, the council said PO2 Denoper Avelino went beyond the call of duty when, while on off duty on Dec. 22, chased the snatchers, stopped them from fleeing with the money, and got hurt in the process.

The resolution also commended city police chief Senior Insp. Leo Batiles and his men.

Avelino, 33, received praises from his superiors, teachers from the Capiz National High School (CNHS), residents and local officials.

The policeman has been in the service for six years. It was the first time he responded to a crime incident, the city council noted.

As a result of Avelino’s action, the police were able to arrest three suspects and charged them last week with robbery with intimidation and physical injuries for the attempt to snatch the Christmas bonuses of teachers from the CNHS amounting to P1,698,712 on Dec. 22, 2008.

Charged before the city prosecutor’s office (CPO) were the Ronilo Eribal, 25, and his brother Ryan, 21, both of Tambak Washington Street; and Rey de los Reyes, 24, of Dumulog.

The school’s cashier Rolyn Villegas and department head Erlinda Tanco came from the Land Bank of the Philippines after cashing their bonus check and were 50 meters near the school gate when three men blocked the path of the tricycle they were riding.

One of the robbers tried to snatch the bag from Villegas who was at the right cabin of the tricycle, but the bag fell on the ground. Instead of picking up the bag, the man took the other handbag of Villegas.

Tanco immediately picked up the bag and ran fast inside the school premises while the robbers hurriedly fled on a getaway motorcycle toward Villareal Stadium.

Unknown to them, the bag picked up by Tanco contained the bonuses of the teachers while the bag snatched from Villegas contained small amounts of cash and other documents.

Avelino, who happened to pass along the area on a motorcycle, immediately fired his ,45 cal, service pistol as warning, but the robbers shot back two times before fleeing toward the Villareal Stadium. Avelino followed the robbers until they reached the Land Transportation Office in Malipayon Village.

He bumped into the motorcycle of the robbers, but this caused his vehicle to swerve and hit a garbage truck parked on the roadside.

Avelino lost consciousness from injuries in the head, nose, and leg. Three of his ribs were broken.

One of the robbers approached Avelino and picked up the policeman’s gun and squeezed the trigger several times at him.

by: Felipe V. Celino, Visayas Bureau

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