Policeman, who was into illegal gambling, caught robbing gasoline station in Bohol
CEBU CITY, Philippines — An active police officer was arrested after he allegedly robbed a gasoline station in Barangay Poblacion in Trinidad town in Bohol Province on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022.
Police Colonel Lorenzo Alfeche Batuan, police director of Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO), identified the suspect as Police Staff Sergeant Conchito Payac, 33, an active desk officer of the Dauis Police Station.
Payac is a resident of Barangay Aguining, Pres. Carlos P. Garcia in Bohol province.
“We assure the public that police officer Payac will face the consequences of his actions — both criminal and administrative cases,” Batuan said.
Complaints of robbery with intimidation and violence against persons, and administrative case are readied against Payac.
Arrested policeman and illegal gambling
In an online interview, Batuan said that the suspect was engaged in illegal gambling, particularly in cockfighting, which perhaps had affected him financially and led him to engage in this crime.
“He is into illegal gambling, duna ni mga manok. Mao ni possibilidad, siguro di sya makasustain sa iyang mga pangihinganlanun financially,” Batuan said.
(He is into illegal gambling. He has fighting cocks. There is a possibility that he could not sustain his needs financially.)
Batuan said that Payac was also tagged as responsible in two separate robberies in municipalities of Alicia and Duero in Bohol province on Dec. 1 and 7 respectively, where gasoline stations in those towns were robbed.
The suspect reportedly operates on his own.
Batuan said that initial investigation showed that at first, they did not have information yet that Payac was behind the Dec. 1 robbery.
However, he said, when the Dec. 7 robbery happened, they received a report about the policeman and gathered important information about the suspect’s alleged involvement in the crime.
After that, the Bohol police conducted a surveillance against Payac and did a backtracking of his daily errands, including those errands on and off work.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Joemar Pomarejos, chief of the Provincial Intelligence Unit of the BPPO, said that from the continuous surveillance they conducted, they caught the suspect in the act of robbing the gasoline station in Barangay Poblacion in Trinidad town earlier.
Police recovered P8,000 cash from his possession, his issued 9 mm Glock pistol, pieces of magazine, and his motorcycle that had no plate number on it.
“Our surveillance gained a positive result. Nakita sa atoang operatiba nga nga nanulis siya didto,” Pomarejos said.
(Our surveillance gained a positive result. Our operatives saw that the suspect was robbing [the gasoline station] there.)
Dec. 1, 7 robberies
According to Pomarejos, the motorcycle and the helmet that the suspect used in Dec. 1 and Dec. 7 robberies were similar to the ones the suspect used in the recent robbery.
The suspect’s physique was similar to the video from the security cameras they also recovered.
After his arrest, the previous victims of the suspect personally appeared to the Alicia and Duero Municipal Police Stations and positively identified the policeman as the robber who also took valuables from their gasoline stations.
Batuan said that they would also look at the possibility that the suspect was also engaged in illegal drugs, but to date, they could not confirm any.
Batuan admitted that he was disappointed because of what happened.
But he said that this would also serve as a warning to all policemen, that they would implement the law even if the one involved would be a co-police officer.
In terms of the suspect’s function as a police officer, Batuan said that his record was clear.
He said that the suspect worked according to his functions as a police officer.
Police Brigadier General Roderick Augustus Alba, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, for his part, said that the arrest of Payac should serve as a warning to those in uniform who were into illicit activities.
“This should serve as a warning to all officers regardless of rank. There is no room for illegal activities in the PNP organization, particularly addiction to cockfighting gambling. Team PNP Region 7 is taking aggressive steps in its Internal Cleansing Policy involving uniformed personnel involved in illicit activity. I assure the public that we take action against lawlessness especially involving men in uniform. Let us be one in this endeavor towards a cleansed and crime-free Central Visayas community with their trust and confidence,” Alba said in a statement.
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