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Cebu News

Pawnshop robbery: ‘Mastermind’ falls

Romeo Marantal - The Freeman
Pawnshop robbery: �Mastermind� falls
Capitol employee and alleged former rebel commander Jigger Geverola, a resident of Barangay Gutlang, Argao, Cebu, is detained at the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) custodial center following his arrest Tuesday after he was tagged as mastermind of the Oro Sugbo Pawnshop robbery over the weekend.
Romeo D. Marantal

CEBU, Philippines — Three days after the early morning robbery of Oro Sugbu Pawnshop and Jewelry Store on Colon St. last Saturday, authorities arrested Tuesday night an Argao, Cebu resident and alleged revolutionary movement official as the “mastermind.”

The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) identified him as Jigger Geverola, a former “political prisoner” and town councilorial candidate, a juris doctor graduate, and a resident of Barangay Gutlang, Argao.

Police Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog, CCPO director, led the arrest of Geverola after robbery suspects Dann Carlo Flores and Jordan Baquino pointed at him as the who ordered them to take the red sedan Honda Civic car that they used as a getaway vehicle to a mountainous area of Argao.

Geverola attending a feeding program when the robbery happened was presented as an alibi, but the police said it does not matter since he was fingered as mastermind and not among the alleged robbers.

“Kini si Jigger Geverola gi-describe ni siya sa mga military nga he is an official of the communist in the Central Visayas Regional Party Committee. In fact, usa sa high-profile personality nga nibisita sa iyaha at that time when he was detained at (the) Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, gibisita siya ni former Bayan Muna congressman Satur Ocampo,” Dalogdog said.

Aside from Geverola, the Provincial Intelligence Unit (PIU) of the Cebu Police Provincial Office also arrested the same night Jerum Cambarijan Davin, 37, of Sitio Magkabayo, Brgy.  Capio-an, Argao, as among the alleged robbers.

The PIU served Davin a search warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 26 Judge Noel Darren C. Damian and found in his residence a .45 pistol with seven bullets, a grenade, and a “Philippine Army” long-sleeved shirt.

Witnesses identified Davin as the robber who swiftly jumped over Oro Sugbu’s display shelf to take the assorted pieces of jewelry.

Like Geverola, he, however, denied any involvement in the robbery.

“Pait kaayo ni sa akong kahimtang…. Wala gyud nay kamatuoran nga gakuyog mi. Bahala unsay iyang buhat dili lang unta siya manamay og tawo,” Davin said.

Aa to Geverola, Dalogdog said they based his arrest as the robbery mastermind on the extrajudicial confession of Flores and Baquiano, who were caught after the red sedan Honda Civic car used as one of the getaway vehicles was intercepted in Sibonga, a neighboring southern Cebu town of Argao.

The police said Flores is Geverola’s nephew while Baquiano is his (Geverola) henchman.

“Didto pa lang sa kining pagka-recover sa sakyanan…paano pud nato ma-clear ang iyahang pangalan nga siya man mismo ang nagsugo sa kadtong duha, si Dann Carlo ug si Jordan, nga ihatod didto bukid sa Argao ang maong kotse, which is ang red Sedan Honda Civic. Mao ni siya ang gigamit sa paghimo sa krimen,” Dalogdog said.

He narrated the succession of events and how their investigation led to Geverola as alleged mastermind.

Dalogdog said that after the robbery, CCTV footage showed the culprits riding two motorcycles as getaway vehicles.

Another CCTV footage showed that one man, who carried a bag that the police said likely contained the guns and the jewelry loot, disembarked from one of the motorcycles and transferred to the red sedan Honda Civic tailing them.

Further investigation showed that the car was parked in a mall in Mambaling, Cebu City prior to the robbery and that the person who took it from there may have been involved in the robbery of a jewelry store in Cagayan De Oro City last Aug. 2.

Cagayan de Oro City Police Office Director Salvador Radam sent Dalogdog a picture of the driver of the getaway vehicle used in the Aug. 2 robbery and it matched with the driver of the red sedan Honda Civic used as getaway vehicle in the Oro Sugbu robbery.

 

“Actually, wala koy idea naay robbery incident nahitabo didto sa Mega Jewelry Pawnshop sa Cagayan de Oro City. Nagtawag sa akoa ang city director nga si Police Colonel Salvador Radam informing mi kay nakita man pud nila ang katong CCTV sa pagbuhat sa maong krimen (sa Oro Sugbu),” Dalogdog said.

“Niana sila, ‘Bok, naa mi napansin. The same ang kanang nahitabo diha nga robbery sa mao nga pawnshop mao pud na nahitabo diri. Upat ka buok ang misulod sa pawnshop. Naay duha niposisyon dayon sa gawas, unya gisundo dayon sila og duha ka motor. Pag-abot sa unahan naay sakyanan nga ilahang gisakyan’,” Dalogdog quoted Radam as saying.

This lead led CCPO to the alleged robbers “local contacts,” whom it identified as Norman Lopez Manuel, whom the Mandaue City Police Office arrested, Geverola, and a third person who is still being identified.

Dalogdog said they are likewise tracking the Honda Civic owner, who is allegedly a mining company owner who was initially said as a resident of Barangay Capitol Site, Cebu City but whose actual address is in Surigao City.

Dalogdog said Manuel is connected to the person because while Manuel is from Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur he frequents Ozamis City, which is the birthplace of the Honda Civic owner.

“Kini si Nilo (Manuel) pwede man gud, halimbawa, naa koy nakawat nga alahas, pwede ba nako ni siya tunawon…kinsa may pwede motunaw? Kasagaran ana katong naay idea about mining….Ikaduha, ang address pud niya Ozamis ang iyahang birthplace, naa gihapoy ma-link,” he said.

Dalogdog also said that Manuel and Geverola has a connection because Manuel is likewise a former revolutionary movement member.

In fact, Dalogdog said, Manuel’s brother, Jefferson, is allegedly a former New People’s Army commander who, like Geverola, was imprisoned for three years as a political prisoner. — (FREEMAN)

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