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An American missionary couple residing in Langka Street, Barangay Poblacion, Narra, Palawan who was victimized by two burglary incidents this year sought help with Palawan Daily News on resolving their problem Monday, October 15.
The couple, who identified themselves as Ken and Susan Siddoway, both US Citizens, missionaries of an international church and has been residing in Narra town since June informed Palawan Daily News that their residence has been subjected for two robberies and one attempted robbery recently just this Saturday, October 13.
In an exclusive interview, the foreign victims narrated that the first robbery, which happened sometime on September, had them lose a huge amount of money they chose not to disclose was reported to the police for investigation.
Both victims also informed that they were not at home during the first robbery and were at Puerto Princesa City. After they got home, they noticed that the back door of the house though was barred, screened, and was padlocked, was forcedly ripped off and was managed to be opened by the suspects.
However, the victims also noted that they noticed there were no gadgets or valuable stuff that was missing except for the money. They added that the money was hidden underneath a cabinet in their bedroom.
The second robbery, according to the victims, happened early this month, wherein the burglars managed, again, to steal money from the residence.
The victims narrated that the criminals forcibly cut through the window screen of their bedroom, providing an entry and again stealing a huge amount of money. They again noted that there were no missing gadgets or any valuable stuff except for the money, which was again hidden at the same place.
The incident was also reported to local authorities for investigation, according to the foreign victims. However, the latest incident as the victims stated, happened just this Saturday night, wherein both of them were already sleeping in wee hours of 2AM. Ken was awakened by a banging sound coming from the gate the outside as he recalled. He got up, did not turn the lights on, got dressed and opened the door of their bedroom. He took a club thinking that if something bad would happen he would be able to defend himself.
“We were here asleep Friday night. It’s the only time since we’ve been here that I did not lock my vehicle. It turned out it was a blessing I didn’t do it,“ said Ken.
“I got out of the door and came around the side of the house and can see that somebody uncoiled our water hose. They had been spraying our door. They somehow ripped the door,” he added.
When Ken tried to get nearer, the motion light turned on and the suspects saw him.
“When I walked by, it turned on, and it scared me and so I run around the house. The two guys run around the other part of the house. One climbed up and jumped over the fence the other one jumped in the car. And I got him,” Ken said.
According to them, Ken kept the suspect inside the car, cornered, while Susan tried to call the local police hotline. But to her disappointment, no one was answering.
According to Ken, they were both yelling tensely that the neighbors woke up and saw what the commotion was all about. Susan went to their neighbor’s house, knocked, and asked them for help.
“We also called our other missionaries and they came riding their bikes. They also went to the police riding their bikes and they reported. But they still made it back here quicker than the police did,” Ken said.
According to the victims, the police took at least an hour to get there and when they did, they apprehended the suspect, who they learned was only 15 years old. The victims also noted that the minor suspect was possessing an ice pick that time.
After which, when the police came in, according to the victims, they took the suspect and left without even trying to take a look at the door which the two suspects tried to rip off.
“When they came, they just took the guy and left. They still have not come and done any investigation. They did not even look at the doors. I have been in the police station three times, they already know the name of the other guy but still haven’t found him,” Ken said.
According to the victims, they went to the local police station and brought one of their Filipino friend from the church who talked to the suspect because they can’t speak Tagalog. The suspect then admitted to their friend that they were the same guys who stole from them on the previous incidents. The suspect also identified his company as a certain Jeffrey Trinidad.
However, since the suspect was a minor, authorities immediately referred him to the local Municipal and Social Welfare Development Office (MSWD) for further assistance.
Palawan Daily News was able to get a statement from the Narra Municipal Police Station through PMJ Carlito Valdez, Chief of Police, and was informed that their personnel conducted an investigation immediately after responding.
However, due to the suspect being a minor, authorities forwarded the case to the local MSWD office since they cannot keep the suspect.
“Naimbestigahan ‘yan automatic. Kaya lang kasi ‘yung bata hindi naman puwede na mag stay sa istasyon. So ni-refer namin agad ‘yan sa DSWD. Iniimbestigahan din ‘yan kung may kasama siya, kung pang ilang beses na bang pinasok, ano ba ang gusto niyang kunin doon, kilala mo ba siya, taga-saan ka ba, lahat ng ‘yan,” Valdez said.
On the other hand, PMaj. Anthony Medalla, one of the investigators of the incident, told Palawan Daily News that the minor suspect identified Jeffrey Trinidad as the suspect who was with him during the latest robbery attempt.
“Ang katotohanan doon, pangatlong beses na sana nilang papasukin ‘yun. Pero ‘yung una at pangalawa nagtagumpay sila, naka-nakaw, itong pangatlo, hindi sila nakapasok,” Medalla said.
Medalla also informed that the suspect admitted that they were the same guys on the first and second robbery.
“Sila din daw ‘yun. Inamin nila. Kaya lang, kahit ipa-execute natin ng extra-judicial complace ‘yun, hindi pa din natin magagamit ‘yun as evidence,” Medalla said.
However, Medalla said that they already coordinated with the minor suspect and was fortunate enough to convince him to testify against the other suspects. “Nakausapna naming itong bata, siya ang magte-testify laban doon sa mga kasama niya, kasama na ‘yung Jeffrey Trinidad,” Medalla said.
Medalla also noted that the other suspects were of legal age who are already liable for a crime case.
Palawan Daily News asked if authorities began to track down the other suspects for the robberies.
“Actually hindi pa natin na-trace. Mga negatives na ‘yun. Malamang nagtatago na. Kasi identified na sila eh. Pero alam nilang nahuli ‘yung kasama nila at alam nila na ikakanta sila. So ang magiging solusyon natin talaga, at malaking makakatulong [sic] itong bata,” Medalla said.
Medalla, however, cleared that the latest incident cannot be tagged as a robbery case because nothing was missing from the suspect’s incident from the time of the apprehension, however, the incident opened a new angle to the previous robbery cases.
As of time of writing, authorities are still coordinating with the local MSWD office to issue a certificate of discernment to the minor suspect in able to start a new investigation regarding the previous robberies.