Ex-capitol security head charged
(The Freeman) - August 28, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - A former security officer of the Cebu provincial government and 11 others are facing complaints before the Office of the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor for allegedly “illegally” arresting fishermen in Bantayan Island.

Former Capitol security head Loy Anthony Madrigal, Servidio Panares, Titing Rubio, Danilo Rosales, Junior Micarsos, Onel Anislagon, Oscar Conje, Bobby Monterde, a certain Gilly, and three other unidentified persons are facing charges for violations of Presidential Decree 532 or the Anti-Piracy and Anti-Highway Robbery Law of 1974, and of Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, or kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

Madrigal is also facing a separate charge on usurpation of official functions.

Madrigal and other 11 respondents were sued by Donato Villaceran, the boat captain of the fishermen whom the former illegally apprehended while in the waters off Kinatarcan, Santa Fe town in Bantayan Island last Wednesday.

Villaceran, through his legal counsel Julius Ceasar Entise, filed the criminal complaints against Madrigal and other 11 respondents before Cebu Deputy Provincial Prosecutor Petronio Elesterio yesterday afternoon.

Madrigal, who is a resident of Kanagahan, San Remigio, is the founder of the Guardian of the Seas, an anti-illegal fishing group composed of fishermen in northern Cebu.

The other 11 men who were reportedly with Madrigal during the alleged illegal arrest are residents of Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan.

Forty fishermen, including boat captains Villaceran and Rogelio Forrosuelo, both from Medellin, were arrested for using the prohibited Danish seine method of fishing or “hulbot-hulbot.”

This was during the joint seaborne patrol operation of San Remigio Bantay Dagat and “Guardian of the Seas” following a report on two commercial fishing vessels engaged in illegal fishing activity.

However, instead of Madrigal filing charges against the 40 men for violations of the fisheries laws and provincial ordinance on sharks, it turned out different after Madrigal and his companions were accused of robbing the fishermen of 46 fishing tubs with an estimated total amount of P161,000.

Villaceran, in his affidavit, said that they were headed to Kaongkod, Madridejos when Madrigal and his companions, who were onboard two motorized pump boats, intercepted them.

He alleged that Madrigal pointed a gun at him and shouted “Loy Madrigal ko, taga anti-illegal fishing task force sa Kapitolyo.”

Villaceran then stopped his boat. He also saw two of his companions armed with a handgun and armalite rifle. Madrigal and his companions reportedly boarded Villaceran’s boat.

When Villaceran asked Madrigal why they intercepted them, the latter ordered him not to complain and reintroduced himself as a Capitol employee.

Madrigal then went to the storage area of the boat and checked the stocks of fish inside.

He also reportedly ordered his men to intercept another fishing boat in the area which was led by Forrosuelo and was headed to Hagnaya, San Remigio.

Madrigal ordered the two boat captains to transfer to their large pump boat.

Villaceran, Forrosuelo and their respective crew members were forcibly brought to Barangay Bitoon, Kinatarcan.

Madrigal and his companions allegedly took 25 tubs of the first-class fish from the two boats; 13 of which from Villaceran’s boat.

Villaceran tried to stop Madrigal and told him he was no longer connected with the provincial government. However, the latter reportedly ignored him.

Madrigal and his companions only stopped when Villaceran suggested that it was better if they report the incident to the police.

Madrigal reportedly gathered the residents in Barangay Bitoon and instructed them to go to Santa Fe proper where he distributed the remaining 33 fishing tubs from Villaceran’s boat.

He also allegedly announced that the barangay officials would receive one tub of fish.

Madrigal also instructed the locals to affix their signatures on a piece of paper before giving them the fish since they would serve as the complainants.

Villaceran and those who were allegedly illegally arrested were then reportedly released.

Villaceran’s lawyer, Julius Ceasar Entise, said no arrest took place since Madrigal, who already resigned from his post, is now considered a civilian and has no authority to conduct the apprehension.

“What he did was illegal. He has no basis. If it is a valid arrest, why would he release the people and their fishing boats? This is just to cover their illegal activity and simulate a so-called arrest,” Entise said.

Also attached in the complaint is the joint affidavit of Ruben Forrosuelo and Eddie Ilustrisimo who were also allegedly illegally arrested. — Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento/ATO (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC BANTAYAN ISLAND BARANGAY BITOON BOAT FISHING GUARDIAN OF THE SEAS JULIUS CEASAR ENTISE MADRIGAL SAN REMIGIO SANTA FE VILLACERAN
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