P1.2M for ‘Pantawid’ beneficiaries robbed
Miriam Garcia Desacada (The Freeman) - January 22, 2016 - 9:00am

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Over a hundred beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the town of Maslog in Eastern Samar will not receive their monthly cash assistance for the later months of 2015.

This after the money, amounting to P1,204,300, for the 4Ps recipients was taken by robbers at around 7 a.m. yesterday from the hands of Janet Bula, an employee of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-8.

Bula was on her way to Maslog onboard a motorized banca when the robbery was staged.

Senior Superintendent Eleazar Igloso, chief of the Police Community Relations of Police Regional Office-8, said the two armed men, wearing bonnets and onboard a separate motorized banca, blocked Bula’s motorboat and declared the holdup.

The robbers succeeded in taking away the money from Bula.

After a follow-up operation, the police were able to arrest the two suspects, identified as Ronilo Rivera and Benjamin Bagas, both residents of Barangay Taboc in Borongan City, the capital of Eastern Samar.

Later at 4:30 p.m., Rolito Amongo, 36, and reportedly the common-law husband of Bula and tagged by the police investigators as the mastermind of the robbery, was also arrested in Barangay Malinto in Dolores town, Eastern Samar.

The arresting team recovered from Amongo the P654,000 cash, a motorcycle, the motorized banca and a .45 caliber pistol with a loaded magazine. He and the items were immediately brought to the Dolores Police Station.

Igloso said criminal charges for robbery and violation of the election gun ban were formally filed in an inquest proceeding against Rivera, Bagas and Amongo before the Provincial Prosecutions Office in Eastern Samar.

"This is however a stern warning to those in the government holding huge amount of money that are being transported to always seek for security assistance from police authorities for a more secure and safe situation because we are talking here of millions of pesos that were taken," Igloso said.

DSWD-8 Director Restituto Macuto, for his part, assured the public that any possible involvement of his employees in committing crime will not be tolerated.

Police investigators had surmised the incident was an inside job, considering that Bula is the live-in partner of Amongo. —/JMD (FREEMAN)

AMONGO BAGAS AND AMONGO BARANGAY MALINTO BARANGAY TABOC BORONGAN CITY BULA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR RESTITUTO MACUTO DOLORES POLICE STATION EASTERN SAMAR IGLOSO
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