3 cops, 4 others charged over Munti POGO heist

August 15, 2020
Debold M. Sinas

NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Debold M. Sinas yesterday said that a criminal case for robbery-holdup was filed against seven men including three rogue policemen accused of robbing 15 Chinese POGO workers and their eight Filipino staff of more than P1 million worth of cash and valuables last Tuesday.

Charged before the office of Muntinlupa Assistant City Prosecutor Mary Glenn Moldez  by the Muntinlupa City Police Station headed by Colonel Melecio Buslig were Police Officer 1 Ryan John Mercado, Corporal Michael Rikk Carpenas, Staff Sergeant April Nikko Faelnar and four John Does.

PO1 Mercado was identified by Sinas as a former NCRPO member who went on AWOL (Absence Without Official Leave) status after  he tested positive for substance abuse while Cpl. Carpena was described as a former member of the Muntinlupa CPS Tactical Motorcycle Riding Unit who  went AWOL after being transferred to the NCRPO Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Section.

Carpena survived an attack by motorcycle-riding gunmen along Manuel L. Quezon Avenue in Barangay Bagumbayan in Taguig City  last January 6.

On the other hand, SSgt. Faelnar was identified as an active personnel of the Southern Police District Personnel Holding and Accounting Section.

All three remained at-large as well as their four other cohorts. Another suspect identified as Angelo Perlota, a driver of a service van being rented by the Chinese nationals is already under arrest.

Sinas has ordered a massive hunt for the suspects who posed as National Bureau of Investigation agents when they staged the daring heist in Muntinlupa City around 12:10 p.m. last Tuesday.

“I have instructed all NCRPO operatives to be on the watch for these rogue former and AWOL police personnel who have been identified as the armed men involved in a heist in Muntinlupa City. These armed and dangerous criminals are now the target of a massive manhunt operation by my men,” Sinas told the Journal Group.

He also ordered the NCRPO Regional Intelligence Division to conduct follow-up intelligence check on the suspects and identify all their cohorts and probable hiding places.

Sinas also directed the NCRPO Personnel and Records Division to provide updates on the status of the suspects specifically amid reports that some of them could still be in active police service but have gone on AWOL status.

The Southern Police District headed by Brigadier Gen. Emmanuel B. Peralta said the suspects barged inside Block 2, Lot 5, Ibarra Street in Rizal Village, Alabang City in Muntinlupa 1around 12:10 p.m. last Tuesday, identified themselves as ‘NBI agents’ and at gunpoint ordered the persons inside to surrender their cash and other valuables.

Fifteen Chinese POGO workers identified as Feng Lei, Dong Bao Long, Li Bing,Yu Hang, Zhai Wei, Xheng Ping, Yi Tongtong, Zhang Linyu, Buyi Hao Li Yung, Xin Ping, Lu Yonlong, Yang Yanlu, He Guang Ba, Huang Xing Liao and He Lou  and eight of their Filipino employees were robbed by the gunmen.

The suspects managed to steal around P667,000 in cash, a diamond ring, several mobile phones and a silver necklace during the daring heist before fleeing.

During an investigation, the Muntinlupa City police found out from a security guard in the area that the suspects identified themselves as NBI operatives out on an official mission before they conducted the robbery-holdup.

However, a driver of the POGO employees identified as Perlota was found to be among the cohorts of the suspect during investigation. The driver confessed his involvement in the heist as the ‘tipster’ of the suspects.

A case for robbery was initially referred against the suspects before a Muntinlupa City prosecutor’s office.

The Muntinlupa City police also identified at least three suspects in the robbery-holdup thru the help of several witnesses whose names were withheld for security reasons.