Salisi gang members from Luzon caught in Cebu City face charges of theft
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cases of theft have been filed against five individuals, identified to be members of a highly-organized salisi gang from Luzon, who were caught after stealing from mall goers in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City on Wednesday, August 2, 2023.
Police Staff Sergeant Nelson Solana, desk officer at the Mambaling Police Station, told CDN Digital that the suspects were charged with cases of theft and that it was filed on Thursday, August 3.
Salisi gang members from Luzon
Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), confirmed that the arrested individuals were members of a highly- organized salisi gang that originally operated in Luzon.
The authorities identified the arrested individuals as Jessica Sarco, 35; Mark Anthony Balan, 35; Mark Anthony Aragosa, 26; Jerico Sarco, 24; and Marichar Patindol, 42.
Mall guards caught them
On Wednesday, August 2, 2023, the security guards of a shopping mall caught the five individuals after they were captured in the CCTV footage in the first two incidents.
On the third incident, the security personnel monitored their movements upon noticing them in the area and caught them.
The five, who are from Bulacan and Cavite, were temporarily residing in a boarding house in Lapu-Lapu City since their arrival one month ago.
Reminder to public
Pelare said that the PRO-7 director, Police Brigadier General Anthony Aberin, was grateful to the security guards of the mall who caught these suspects.
He said that this would serve as a reminder to the general public to report incidents like this in order to stop such crimes from happening again.
“This serves as as lesson to our constituents nga kung naa gani mabiktima og (that if you are a victim of a) crime, the first thing to do is to report it to the authorities and not post it on Facebook. Because the moment you post it on social media, you actually give a warning to the perpetrators, nga uy nasakpan na mo (that what they had done had been noticed),” he said.
More members in Cebu
Pelare also said that during the custodial debriefing, the arrested persons told the police that they had more members of their syndicate in Cebu.
However, the PRO-7 spokesperson assured that they had already identified these members, and that the PRO-7 would be conducting a continuous manhunt operation to find them.
He said that this group came to Cebu with a plan in order and might have money saved from their operations in Luzon to use here.
“Gikan ni silas Luzon. Nagsabot, nagplano… Nagtan-aw og kinsay soft nga mga establishments nga pwede nila biktimahon. Ningari sa Cebu, nagkuha og boarding house then obviously naa silay resources,” he said.
(They came from Luzon. They agreed and planned…They looked for those establishments that are soft targets and are easy to victimize. They came to Cebu, rented a boarding house then obviously, they have resources.)
Police assurance: We’ll go after them
Pelare said that they might have resorted to coming to Cebu to steal because they were unable to find many victims in Luzon.
Police found that these persons had been staying here in Cebu for a month.
They also assured that they would be conducting an inventory to determine other possible victims and the gang’s possible financial supporter, Pelare said.
Furthermore, the police will be doing intelligence monitoring and intelligence exchange with other agencies as a security measure in order to put a stop to these crimes.
Challenges of cases like these
Pelare said that one of the challenges with cases like this was that some complainants would choose to withdraw charges because it would be a hassle.
Therefore, the PRO-7 appealed to the public to help solve the problem by filing charges.
“Our appeal to the public is, once you are victimized, let’s help the police neutralize these people by making sure that you file cases,” he said.
The PRO-7 spokesperson advised the public to be on the lookout for this kind of crimes, and to be careful when talking to people they don’t know especially when they would be in public places.
What to watch out for
“Mao ni balantayan nato. This is the appeal that we have to the public nga ayaw mo kayg kompyansa aning mga taw nga makigstorya ninyo nga bisag unsa lay topic in a public place kay probably, members ni sa salisi gang,” he said.
(This is what they should watch out for. This is the appeal that we have to the public that they should not let their guard down from these people who talk to you about different topics in a public place because probably, they are members of a salisi gang.) | with Mary Godinez, CTU Intern
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