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Police arrest guards in robbery, slay

By NITZ ARANCON
and JIGGER J. JERUSALEM
Correspondents .

POLICE yesterday pressed charges against two men who allegedly robbed and killed a fellow guard in Barangay Katipunan, Villanueva town, Misamis Oriental,  Sunday.

Guards Bernie Belen (left) and Raymart Jay Pumatong (right) behind bars at a police station following their arrest for alleged robbery and homicide. (photo Nitz Arancon)

Police said the suspects — Raymart Jay Pumatong, 27, of Purok 18, Barangay Dayawan, Villanueva town and Barangay Bugo, this city, and Bernie Belen, 28, of Sitio Buguac, Barangay Sta. Cruz, Tagoloan town — carted away some P25 thousand from a gasoline station and killed Dominico Servandel, 22, also a guard from Balingasag town.

The suspects also wounded 25-year-old cashier Axcel Rose Gemino of Zone 2, Barangay Katipunan, Villanueva, police said.

Police arrested Pumatong at a oil manufacturing facility in Villanueva while Belen was caught at his home.

Seized from the suspects were  a 9mm pistol, shotgun, bullets and over P13 thousand in cash.

The suspects, currently detained at the Villanueva police office, were charged before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office with robbery with homicide, robbery with  frustrated homicide and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The fatality, Servandel, was about to be married; he was employed as a guard of Lux Interna Security Agency and assigned at a Phoenix refueling station in Katipunan.

M/Sgt. Celmyr Daponlay of the Villanueva police said Pumatong, Belen and Servandel were all Lux Interna guards.

Daponlay said Pumatong served as a guard at the Limketkai and Sons oil manufacturing facility in Barangay Katipunan, Villanueva.

Based on a police report, Servandel was roused from his sleep when the suspects came at around 3:30 am. But Pumatong allegedly took Servandel’s shotgun and used it to shoot the victim to the head.

Gemino was hit in the face and was rushed to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center. She was subsequently transferred to another hospital.

Investigators said the suspects took from the gas station’s cash register P25 thousand in cash and fled.

Daponlay said Pumatong served as the gunman while Belen was his lookout

He said police were able to identify Pumatong and Belen after viewing a closed-circuit television camera recording, and because useful information was provided by people who know Pumatong.

Pumatong told police he was having financial problems — he said his wife has just had a caesarean delivery and he needed to pay the medical bills.

Daponlay said Pumatong claimed to have applied for a loan at the security agency but it was disapproved.

Meanwhile, the Puerto police are also preparing charges against Pumatong and Belen for frustrated robbery and illegal possession of firearms, according to Capt. Mario Mantala.

Mantala accused the suspects of being behind an attempt to rob a 7-Eleven convenience store in Barangay Bugo.

He said the robbery attempt took place shortly after the Villanueva heist.

A guard at the convenience store foiled the Bugo robbery, according to Mantala.

“Mai nang illegal possession of firearms atong i-file batok sa mga suspect kay nakuha gikan kanila ang ilang pusil,” Mantala said.

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