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Heavy Equipment in Ubay Stolen?
« on: November 19, 2007, 08:48:27 AM »
By Kit Bagaipo
The Bohol Chronicle

A contractor of the Bohol Irrigation Project Stage 2 (BHIP-2) is filing charges of theft against the chief of the Ubay PNP who is allegedly involved in the pilferage and robbery of P20-million worth of heavy equipment in Ubay town.

Aside from the criminal complaint, Ubay police chief P/Supt. Eduardo Saavedra is also facing administrative charges for grave misconduct and serious irregularity in the performance of his duty filed by Bohol PNP Director P/SSupt. Edgardo Ingking at the National Police Commission (Napolcom) regional office.

The case stemmed from a series of pilferage and the eventual loss of 11 heavy equipment stationed in barangays Bulilis and Himbabauran, Ubay town.

The heavy equipment were owned by SCP Construction, one of the contractors building lateral canals of the BHIP-2 (Bayongan Dam).

In his affidavit, SCP Construction administrative officer Engr. Ismael Malagar identified two of the suspects as Ciriaco Bulilis and Anita Felisilda. Both are residents of Ubay town.

According to Malagar, the first theft happened sometime in July where the suspects allegedly cut-up and stole parts of the parked heavy equipment.

This incident was followed by major thefts of body parts of the said equipment.

These incidents were reported to the Ubay police station headed by Saavedra, according to Malagar.

However, Malagar claimed there was no sincere action of Saavedra regarding the incidents.

On October 20, Malagar received a text message that one of their equipment, a Kawasaki KLD 95 pay loader was again cut up by unidentified persons.

The pay loader's parts including its bucket, hydraulics and cylinder booms were reportedly loaded in a boom truck in barangay Himbabauran, Malagar said.

He immediately informed police provincial director Ingking regarding the relayed information.

Ingking called up Saavedra instructing the latter to seize the stolen parts and apprehend the suspects. Ingking asked for immediate reports of Saavedra's action.

Instead, one SPO2 Ferdinand Vergara of the Ubay PNP was sent by Saavedra to respond to the incident.

When Malagar went to the site on said day, he was surprised that the parts and the equipment where already gone including the suspects.

After being informed of the development, Ingking ordered for a vehicle alarm to all police stations to apprehend the boom truck carrying the stolen equipment parts.

According to Malagar, despite the report that the equipment were stolen, Saavedra allegedly had a "lukewarm attitude" towards the incident.

In a separate affidavit, Vergara stated that when he responded to the scene, he saw several armed men together with the suspects. Vergara said he could not arrest them as he did not have a back-up.

According to Vergara, he was later told by Saavedra to allow the suspects to leave with the stolen parts as these were "justified payments" for rental owed by SCP Construction to the lot owner where the equipment were placed.

Malagar told the Chronicle that the amount of the stolen equipment amounts to some P20-million.

ADMINISTRATIVE CASE

In his affidavit, Ingking said that sometime last August, Malagar informed him of the alleged series of illegal cutting and pilferage of metal body parts of several heavy equipment owned by SCP Construction.

Ingking said he briefed Saavedra to prevent such illegal activity from happening again and apprehend the suspects.

According to Ingking, he also learned that SCP Construction was indebted to the lot owner where their equipment were located.

In order that the lot owner can collect payments from the contractor, "they found interest in claiming ownership of the [said] heavy equipment by cutting them into small parts and sold as metal scraps," Ingking said.

Last October 20, Ingking was informed of another major theft and that the cut-up parts were loaded to a boom truck.

"I gave Supt. Saavedra specific instruction to seize all stolen properties… and give immediate feedback," said Ingking.

But instead of receiving a feedback from Saavedra, the provincial PNP director received a call from Malagar informing him that the boom truck loaded with the metal parts including the suspects have already disappeared.

"With this inaction by Saavedra, it came into my mind the possibility that he must have been involved in conspiracy with the suspects," Ingking stated in his affidavit.

In confirming his suspicion, Ingking interviewed Vergara who revealed that sometime in July, his assistance was already sought by SCP Construction about the pilferage of their equipment.

Vergara said he discovered that those responsible for the theft were Ciriaco Bulilis, alias Gakong, allegedly a representative of the lot owner, Juan Bulilis.

He revealed further that after the incident, a certain SPO1 Danile Sayson, a policeman assigned in Bien Unido town together with a certain "Dondon" approached him with Sayson introducing "Dondon" as the "new cutter" contracted by the lot owner.

Vergara was allegedly told by Sayson not to interfere with the cutting of parts of the heavy equipment of SCP Construction.

He also said that "Dondon" also approached PO1 Joshua Limaco who introduced the former to Saavedra.

A few days after, Vergara was called by Saavedra and was told not to intervene or prevent any activities of "Dondon" as he already incurred huge expenses in his contract of cutting the metal parts of the heavy equipment owned by SCP Construction.

Vergara also narrated to Ingking that "Saavedra received an initial payment of P10,000 from "Dondon" after a conversation at the former's office.

According to Ingking, "In effect, the illegal cutting and pilferage of the equipment went on then came the October 20 incident in which Saavedra did not only fail to follow my specific instruction to apprehend the suspects, but also maliciously refused to carry out a lawful order from his immediate superior."

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