– DOLE chief offers jobs instead of jail to snatchers
THE Manila Police District-theft and robbery section (MPD-TRS) presented to Mayor Isko Moreno the five suspects in the snatching of Labor Secretary Silvestro Bello III’s cellphone last Friday.
MPD-TRS chief Maj. Joey de Ocampo was with arresting officers P/Master Sgt. Manuel Pimentel, P/S/Sgt.Margarito Dequito, P/Corporal Paul Robin Bautista, P/Cpl. Taduis Escano, P/Cpl. Serafin Galpo Jr. and P/Cpl. Paul Dick Valencia in presenting the suspects to Moreno after the flag-raising ceremony held at the Bonifacio Shrine.
On orders of MPD Director P/Brig. General Rolando Miranda, De Ocampo said the suspects were nabbed in a follow-up operation in Malabon and Quiapo, Manila the other night.
It was learned that Bello had opened the car window while using his high-end cellphone when it was snatched. He was then in the vicinity of the Mehan Garden in Manila. The snatcher reportedly joined four others and all of them fled on foot toward Quezon Boulevard.
First nabbed by De Ocampo’s men were suspects Clarence Arevalo and John Paul Laurente, both 18. During their arrest on Elisondo Street at around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, they named their three cohorts. They were Marl Louise Calveeo and Mariken Herbano Radores,29, a saleslady and resident of Malabon City and a 15-year-old boy whose name was not disclosed owing to his age.
De Ocampo said that based on investigation, Radores was the one who sold Bello’s cellphone to a certain ‘Ivan’ who was later identified as Omar Marohom Sidic, 28, a businessman, of R. Hidalgo Street in Quiapo, Manila.
All five have been charged with a case of robbery-snatching while Sidic was charged with violation of the anti-fencing law before the Manila Prosecutor’s Office.
The suspects were also presented to Bello.
In a DOLE video on Facebook Live, Bello offered jobs to the suspects instead of sending them to jail.
Maj. Joselito de Ocampo of the Manila Police District presented the suspects to the DOLE chief on Monday in his office in Intramuros, Manila and to turn over the recovered mobile phone, an iPhone 11 Pro Max worth around P79,000.
“What the Secretary would like is to help them maybe to change the course of their life by providing them with employment opportunities,” Rolly Francia, DOLE-Information and Publication Service (IPS) director, said in a virtual forum.
He added that according to authorities, the suspects are now members of gangs and it will not be easy for them to be transformed.
“The Secretary asked the police to investigate (the) incident and to recommend if it’s still possible for (the) minors to be reformed by giving their jobs. He is hoping that they will be able to help them, as the Secretary is not yearning for these children to be jailed,” Francia said.
He, meanwhile, said Bello wants the buyer of the snatched cellphone, who was also arrested, to be jailed.
“He wants the buyer to be jailed since one will not engage in snatching cellphones if he knows that no one will buy from them,” he said.
Bello’s cellphone was snatched near the Manila City Hall and Mehan Garden on November 6.
The suspects were arrested in a follow-up operation over the weekend.