Buenavista group eyed as suspect in armed robbery of NIA 7 office —Tagbilaran PNP chief

The Tagbilaran City Police Station is now looking into a Buenavista-based group which may have been behind the armed robbery of the National Irrigation (NIA) 7 headquarters in Barangay Dao in the city on Monday.

According to Tagbilaran City police chief Supt. Patricio Degay, the three armed suspects were likely after documents which were kept inside the office of NIA 7 manager Engr. Modesto Membreve.

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Membreve told authorities that the armed robbers also took P20,00 cash from his office.

Based on Membreve’s statement to authorities, both the documents and cash were personal belongings and not of the government agency.

A closed-circuit television footage showed all three suspects wielding firearms as they broke into the NIA 7 headquarters particularly Membreve’s office.

Degay said that the three men were each armed with a .38 caliber revolver, .45 caliber handgun and a KG-9 machine pistol, which is usually used by “experienced” gunmen.

However, Degay did not divulge the identities of the possible perpetrators of the robbery as investigations continued.

Degay also said that there was no foul play behind the death of NIA 7 security guard Rene Gementiza, 58, who died while the robbery was in progress.

Doctor Teomen Casano of the City Health Office earlier noted that Gementiza died of acute myocardial infarction, commonly known as heart attack.

She said that Gementiza was suffering from diabetes and hypertension.

According to Tagbilaran City police investigator PO2 Joseph Elic, the armed men held Gementiza, who was stationed at the NIA building’s entrance, at gunpoint and handcuffed him to a door inside the building at around 3:20 a.m.

Gementiza suddenly collapsed as the robbery suspects were about to leave Membreve’s office with the the documents at around 3:40 a.m. The men then removed the handcuff from the door and dragged the security guard’s body away from the NIA official’s office and to a hallway.

Amancio Acobo, an off-duty security guard who slept at the NIA compound, found Gementiza’s body at around 5:30 a.m. and immediately called for emergency assistance. (W. Maestrado)



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