Two suspects in the robbery-killing incident at a Sailor Oil gasoline station in Ubay in April were rearrested after they were released due to technicalities in the police’s conduct of their previous warrantless apprehension.
In a press briefing on Monday, Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) director Col. Lorenzo Batuan announced the arrest of two former security guards who were among three men pinpointed to have robbed the Sailor Oil station in San Pascual, Ubay and killed one of the establishment’s security personnel on April 17.
This time, the apprehensions were carried out by virtue of arrest warrants for robbery with homicide issued by Judge Azucena Macalolot-Credo of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 10 in Talibon.
According to Batuan, they arrested Florencio Pelonia, 54, and Jerry Ofamin, 37, both security guards of Sailor Oil, in separate operations in Guindulman and Ubay, respectively, on Thursday last week.
Meanwhile, another suspect identified as Rogelio Edisa, Jr., 27, of Zamboanga remained at large.
“Right after the release of the suspects right after the inquest proceedings, I directed Major Romar Labasbas to produce evidence and take necessary actions to arrest the suspects through a warrant and further conduct monitoring, resulting in this positive development,” said Batuan.
According to BPPO spokesperson Lt. Col. Norman Nuez, the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office previously ordered the release of Ofamin and Pelonia following an inquest proceeding in which the fiscal deemed the apprehensions to have been carried out beyond the allowable time for a warrantless arrest through a hot pursuit operation.
Nuez noted that they followed the procedures for the conduct of a hot pursuit operation by taking with them the witness who has personal knowledge on the two suspects’ involvement in the robbery-killing.
“Gidala nato ang witness kay siya man ang naay personal knowledge. Although ang time element wala gyud mabutang sa balaod, so lahi-lahi ang discretion but we highly respect the discretion of the prosecution,” said Nuez.
The 1987 Constitution allows hot pursuit operations but does not specify the exact period allowed for its conduct while Supreme Court rulings vary as to what is the acceptable lapse of time between the commission of the crime and the implementation of a warrantless arrest through hot pursuit.
The robbery-homicide in Ubay was carried out in the afternoon of April 17 while both Pelonia and Ofamin were arrested more than 24 hours after the incident at 5 p.m. on April 19.
The duo along with Edisa allegedly carted away over P300,000.
They also allegedly shot dead the gasoline’s station’s security guard Marlowe Aparado, 29, who tried to stop them from taking the cash. (A. Doydora)