The National Bureau of Investigation-Puerto Princesa nabbed a seven-month pregnant woman and her cousin around 9 AM last December 20, 2019, at Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa Restaurant, Kanigaran Street Brgy. Bancao-Bancao, Puerto Princesa City.
They allegedly took P2.5 million from businessman Eulogio Topacio Jr, 75, owner of Topaz Industries Corporation and Manhattan Chemical Corporation, a resident of Pasig City and uncle of Celebrity Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio.
The NBI-Puerto Princesa District Office Executive Officer Atty. Renato Garbo told the Palawan Daily News.
The suspects arrested were Gemma Roma Andres Alejandrino, 35, and Jan Zennon Alenjandrino, 18, both residents of Brgy. Santa Monica, Puerto Princesa City.
According to Atty. Garbo, when he was on his way to the parking lot after having breakfast at the resort, he chanced upon the commotion between the complainant, the security guard and the suspect near the gate of the hotel.
“Nagkataon lang na nandun tayo, pabalik na sana ako ng opisina tapos naabutan natin sila na nagkakagulo,” Garbo added.
There he learned that suspect Alejandrino took Mr. Topacio’s cash contained in a green Jordache bag without the knowledge and consent of the complainant.
The hotel security guard saw the girl about to board her Toyota Hilux pickup truck with plate number VAA-3434 driven by the younger Alejandrino.
Consequently, he introduced himself as an NBI Agent to the security guard and immediately brought the parties to the security guard office which he conducted an inventory.
It was established that the bag contained the said amount of money with the name of Jun Topacio taken from the custody of Ms. Alejandrino and the two suspects were placed under arrest.
After this, they brought the parties to the NBI office to continue the investigation and for filing of the case.
Based on their investigation, Miss Alejandrino is an employee of the complainant having a salary of P30,000 monthly.
The agent believed that the suspects planned to rob the money.
“Per complainant normal lang na magdala siya ng ganito kalaking pera dahil itong si Topacio kilalang-kilala ito sa buong Pilipinas na negosyante at may bibilhin yang lupa dito,” Garbo said.
Meanwhile, Atty. Arnold Naval, the complainants’ lawyer, said that Mr. Topacio saw his employee brought his bag from his room.
“Nakita siya lumabas sa kwarto o galing sa kwarto naglalakad bitbit-bitbit yung bag na may lamang pera. Nahuli siya, nahabol siya,” Naval stated.
In his complaint affidavit, the importer said that he trusted all his company’s accounts to Gema.
“Habang ako at ang aking pamilya ay nakacheck-in sa nasabing hotel, dumating si Gema at naka-usap niya ang aking asawa sa aming kuwarto. Makalipas ang ilang minuto,lumabas ang aking asawa para magpa-upgrade ng room o kumuha ng room malapit sa dagat at naiwan si Gema sa aming kuwarto. Makalipas ang ilang saglit nung pagtayo ko nakita si Gema na tangay ang bag na may pera na nagkakahalaga ng 2.5 milyon. Agad kong inutusan ang aking anak na lalaki na sundan si Gema at humingi ng tulong sa guwardiya ng hotel habang ako naman ay bumaba sa aming kuwarto, sinundan si Gema at nang maabutan ko ay sinigawan ko siya, bag ko yan bakit mo kinuha? Bakit mo kinuha ang Bag ko?” Topacio said in his complaint affidavit.
Last December 21, 2019, the NBI did an inquest and filed a case against Gema Roma Alejandrino for violation of Article 310 of Revised Penal Code or Qualified Theft and against Jan Zennon Chico Alejandrino as an accomplice before the City Prosecutor’s Office of Puerto Princesa.
Assistant City Prosecutor Venus Gapuz Taliman did not recommend bail for the temporary liberty of the suspects but gave them ten days’ grace period to file their counter-affidavits.
The state prosecutor also approved the request of the suspects to have a preliminary investigation and waived their rights under the provision of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code as amended and all be in custody of the NBI pending the completion of the preliminary investigation.
Palawan Daily News tried to get the side of the suspects, but they declined.