Angeles City Police Blotter

 

NO, the sky isn't falling.  But, we had more than the usual number of criminal incidents in September.

Usually the incidence of crime in our area increases significantly in December.  From break-in in EXPAT homes, to armed robberies, to snatching, ... the criminal elements need funds or goodies for Christmas.  

I was, therefore, a little shocked at some of the serious incidents that occurred in Angeles in September. Some of these incidents were reported on local bulletin boards and then the posts disappeared.  Only a few made the local newspapers.

IMO these incidents do not indicate Angeles City has become too dangerous for tourists or EXPATS.  It is still safer than many cities this size in America or Europe.  But, not reporting these incidents would be portraying an illusion of total safety that isn't true.

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This report is copied from the SUN STAR PAMPANGA http://www.sunstar.com.ph/pampanga/index.html

Police 5 -- Bad Guys 0

(I believe the statement in red below that "a group of Philippine Army men led by Lieutenant Erickson Bulosan arrived and assisted the local police in the heist"  is just bad wording by the Sun Star) 

Sunday, September 03, 2006
Cops arrest 5 men in Dau hostage-rob
By Reynaldo G. Navales and Dante M. Fabian

MABALACAT, Pampanga -- At least five of eight members of a notorious robbery group in Central Luzon were arrested after holding hostages inside a Western Union money transfer branch along MacArthur Highway in Barangay Dau Saturday.

The suspects who held five hostages for about four hours inside the money transfer station including the Western Union employees and security guard, surrendered after Pampanga Provincial Director Leonardo Espina and GMA7 television journalist Susan Enriquez negotiated and convinced the suspects to give up and free their hostages.

Police recovered about P516,000 worth of US dollars held by the suspects when the responding team arrived. The suspects yielded four .45 caliber pistols and one 9 mm pistol, and the service shotgun of the security guard.

Mabalacat Police Director Renato M. Soria identified the suspects as Randy Ledason, Nelio Pawelas, Wilfredo Docena, Jaymar Reyes, Abe Nungay all natives of Samar, Leyte.
Soria said the suspects are presently residing in Novaliches, Quezon City.

Senior Inspector Luisito M. Tan, Dau Compac chief, said they received reports at around 1 p.m. that a robbery is in progress at the said establishment. Tan said he and his men immediately responded and cornered the five suspects inside the money transfer station.

Police Officer 1 Nicolas Dadang said he accidentally stumbled on the hostage taking when he entered the branch and saw one of the suspects holding a gun to the head of security guard Risalito Resalde.

The hostages included the two lady employees and two women customers who came for money transfer services.  Few minutes later, a group of Philippine Army men led by Lieutenant Erickson Bulosan arrived and assisted the local police in the heist. Soria ordered his men to drive away kibitzers watching the hostage drama but the police officers failed.

Prior to the arrival of Enriquez and Espina, Senior Superintendent Nicanor S. Targa and Senior Superintendent Rosve Manulid made negotiations through cellphone with the help of a local newsman Jab Tolentino.  Tolentino inserted his identification card through the thin opening of the establishment's back door after which the suspects dropped a small paper with a cellphone number where they may be reached.

In talks with Targa, the suspects' spokesman asked police to call for Enriquez to be present when they surrender to assure their safety.  Mayor Marino "Boking" Morales, Central Luzon Police Director Ismael Rafanan, Espina also arrived in the area.  Morales talked to the suspects on the mobile phone and later convinced them to surrender. At around 5 p.m., the suspects surrendered and their hostages were unharmed.

TWO BARGIRLS STABBED TO DEATH IN SEPTEMBER: 

A waitress from Classroom 2 was stabbed and killed in Santa Maria late one night in September.  Suspect is a ex-boyfriend that was charged with assault several weeks before.   Latest word is that he has not been caught.  She left behind three small children.

A girl from Brass Knob that was  3 1/2 months pregnant was stabbed and killed.  She had told her boyfriend she was working at SM.  He found out she was really working at Brass Knob.  The reports I heard on this one is that the boyfriend confessed after he was arrested.

Bad Guys 8 -- Police 0 (or maybe 8?)

Robbery in American Hotel in Angeles City

Shortly after midnight in mid September, eight guys dressed as police and carrying M-16 rifles went into the American Hotel Don Juico Ave and held up staff and guests and robbed them of cash and valuables. 

According to a Ville customer that was involved in the hold up, the eight men were dressed in SWAT uniforms, with flack jackets, carrying M-16 and 45's.  They went into the lobby and took the security guard and the two girls working the desk hostage.  They broke into three safety deposit boxes that turned out to be empty.  

While they were trying to break into the safety deposit boxes 17 more people entered the lobby and were taken into their little robbery.  They took all jewelry, cell phones, and money of both the hotel guests and anyone with them.  Then they locked everyone  in a small room off the hallway and left between 1 & 2 am. 

Indications are the thieves made off with approximately P 70,000 from the hotel, plus cash, cellular phones and other belongings from the guests that entered the lobby while the robbery was in progress.

This story extracted from Harry The Horse For more Angeles News Items, see http://www.harrythehorse.com/ 

The Horse is arrested! -  That's right folks, on the night of 26 Sep I was grabbed by the NBI inside the Angel Witch bar, goose-stepped outside to a waiting vehicle and transported to the NBI office located on Clark.  I was kept there the entire night but released the next day.  How, you might ask, did all this come about?  Well, that night, about 10 PM I received a call from a contact that the NBI was in the Angel Witch Bar and in the process of searching for one lady which they could not find and were now detaining some of the ladies and three Mamasans.  He indicated that the Tourist Police were not on the scene.  I contacted ACTA President Rey about the raid and told him I would check it out.  He asked that I keep him informed of the situation and see if I could learn the reason for the raid.  Priscilla dropped me off in front of the Angel Witch and I entered the bar, met with the manager and started to interview him about what had happened and why.  During the interview the NBI suddenly returned with around six to eight men, arm with weapons and ran through the bar and two went to the back stairs to check the live-in area.

  I approached one of the armed men and asked what the situation was and he directed me to the team chief.  I went to that person and introduced myself and explained that I was the Exec. Vice President of ACTA and then had to tell him that it was the Angeles Clarkfield Tourism Association.  I asked if there was a mission order issued for this raid and the reason.  He explained that a mission order was not required and that it was a rescue mission to find a girl listed as a minor and employed at the Angel Witch.  They were also looking for a "Scott" and at first thought it was me.  They asked why I wanted this information and I told them that the ACTA President wanted to be advised so that we could monitor the situation and act accordingly.  He asked me for the name of the President and when I mentioned the name "Rey Pineda" he went ballistic.  He started yelling that Rey was nothing, he could not tell the NBI what to do, he could not stop anything, he is not in charge of anything, and so on with a bit of profanity thrown in as well.  I thought he was going to foam at the mouth but instead he took his frustration and anger out on me by yelling, "you are under arrest for obstructing justice, call your damn Rey, have him come here" and two of the agents grabbed me and goose-stepped me out to the waiting vehicle.  I was shoved into the back seat and the team chief continued his tirade, telling me to call Rey.  Now, in the back seat I was trying to call Rey even as I was sitting between two agents but for some reason, my fingers would not cooperate too well.  Then the "Chief" who was in the front seat, still yelling, grabbed my cell phone and smacked me in the face.  The vehicle took off and proceeded to the Base and things were a bit quieter.  Then we are on base heading for the NBI office and the damn car started to run out of gas.  I was glad the gas stations were closed as I figured they would ask me to pay for the gas.  Anyway, they went through a few stop and go motions and finally the car was able to coast to a stop in front of the NBI office.  

Now they gave me back my cell phone and again told me to call Rey and tell him to go to the office.  It was after 11 PM now but I tried to call and there was no answer.  In desperation, I called Presidential Advisor Secretary Renato Diaz and was able to reach him and tell him that I had been detained by the NBI and that I could not reach Rey for assistance.  He took my information and told me he would see what could be done.  When I hung up the NBI agent asked who I called.  I told him I could not reach Rey, so I called Secretary Diaz.  He got mad again, accused me of name calling and asked the full name of the Secretary.  When I told him he responded "oh, that fat guy from Zambales, see you are name calling again, we don't like that."  Shit, by this time I thought, hell, if I had a direct line to GMA (President of the Philippines) I would call her too.  But they confiscated my cell phone again.

When I entered the NBI general room with various offices I was told to sit.  At that time I also saw the three Mamasans from the Angel Witch Club plus one door girl and three of the dancers who the NBI agents suspected of being underage.  One must remember though, that the original mission was to rescue one specifically named woman who they could not find.  Now, I was without any means to communicate with anyone, arrest paperwork was prepared and I was fingerprinted.  They kept asking for identification papers and all I had was my drivers license and they asked why I did not have copies of my passport or visa on person.  I kept telling them that they were at home and that I did not carry that kind of documentation on my person.  I think, technically, I am supposed to do so but I have to check on that.  Hell, none of that stuff will fit in my wallet anyway.  After all the paperwork I was escorted to the back of the room, led down a hallway to a cell and placed in that.  The light was turned off and it was dark as hell, but I figured I might as well try to sleep.  But, within three minutes, the door opened and I was let out and suddenly, everyone was pretty nice to me.  The good thing is that the team chief was no longer around and those that were still on duty were being rather decent.  I was surprised at the sudden turn-a-round and did not find out the reason for many more hours.   I was told that they needed my help with the ladies in custody in that the Mamasans, one in particular, was not cooperating and maybe if I could talk to them and convince them to cooperate in finding the lady that they were trying to "rescue".  If I could help, and they were able to find the lady, then I could be released.  OK, I agreed to talk to the two ladies and explained the benefits of not lying, or at the very least, getting their stories to agree with each other.  In any case, the one girl indicated that a friend of (let me call her Roselle, not her real name) Roselle was still in the bar and might know where she was staying.  So, they formed another team and went with them to the bar again, but, of course, were not successful in finding Roselle.  Naturally, I am sure, that by this time, enough people had informed Roselle what was going on and that she was well hidden.  Also, at this time, my cursing, slapping buddy popped his head in and wanted to know the last name of "Scott".  When I told him I did not know it he did not believe me and asked if I thought he was dumb.  Needless to say I resisted the urge to tell him what I really thought, but instead, explained that many of the people I know in town are by first name only or nicknames and that all too often I even forget those first names and rely on "Hi buddy, hi pal, hey guy" and other shortcuts to cover my bad memory. 

After all this I was now allowed to sit in the general area where there was a long table and allowed to watch TV with the three Mamasans trying to get some sleep in their chairs.  Around 2 AM one agent, Larry, sat with me and chatted for quite some time and he allowed me access to my cell phone so I could at least call my wife who was quite worried by this time.  After my conversation with her and also responding to others who had sent text messages Larry once again collected my cell phone.  Again, I was incommunicado.  But, I was told that I would be released in the morning once the mission was over.  Believe me, it was a very long night.  As I sat there, I thought of all the expats that have been guests of the NBI or Immigration officials and how they related their stories to me.  I remember visiting Kevin Halloran at the station 174 jail and what a horror that was.  For the rest of the evening I was treated OK but could only doze in my chair once in a while.  Around 8 AM the Agents, including the Director gathered for breakfast which one of the agents prepared.  I was invited to join them for sausage, scrambled eggs and rice and managed to eat enough to ease a bit of hunger I had.  Once the place became active and they woke up the individual that was assigned to prepare my release paperwork I was happy to see that I would be released shortly.  But, first they asked me to agree to a prepared affidavit which absolved them of any wrong doing, one of those "cover your ass" documents.  Since I did not have my cell phone yet I was not able to seek advice but in retrospect I guess I should have asked to speak to the ACTA lawyer first.  Instead I signed the document and finally was given my cell phone back.  After another couple of hours I was officially released.

Once I had my cell phone and was contacted by various people I found out that Secretary Diaz, after receiving my call the night before, called a contact in Manila and that person contacted the Clark NBI Director right away and was told to release me that night.  It was agreed that I would be released but that information was withheld from me and I was kept the entire night.  Secretary Diaz, when he learned this was upset.  I also found that the Mayor was making enquiries as well as Rey Pineda.  Marlon Llauder, the ACTA lawyer arrived from Manila and was instructed by the Mayor to get a list of the names of the Agents that were on duty the night before.  Later in the day, I attended meetings with Rey, Sec Diaz and also the Mayor to get to the bottom of why these agents arrested me.  The NBI director was summoned to the Holiday Inn as well and was questioned by the Secretary and also Rey.  He was very apologetic and indicated that I could submit a complaint against the Agent who slapped me in the car.  It was decided that this was not necessary but both Sec Diaz and Rey wanted to see some sort of action against the agent who assaulted me, was cussing out Rey and was disrespectful to the name of the Secretary.  I was very grateful that I was able to get through to Sec Diaz the night before as I am sure that my treatment would have been far different, even to the point that they would have left me in that cell.  I have no doubt that at some point they would have asked for money as they had started talking about pressing charges and notifying the American Embassy and that I could lose my military retirement pay, which of course is hogwash, but was an attempt to intimidate me. 

So, I was able to go home but what of the three Mamasans and the entertainers that were still being held?  I thought that they would be released but found out that later in the day, the three entertainers were slapped around, knocked down and forced to sign affidavits admitting that they were involved in going out on "barfines" and with this admission, the three Mamasans went before the fiscal with the charge of trafficking which is a non-bailable offense.  At the time I am writing this they are incarcerated at the City Jail.  One of the girls that was abused reported to work and was taken to Ona Hospital for an examination and for a doctor to record her injuries.  So far, she is willing to make an official statement as to the treatment she received and that she was coerced into making the affidavit that pointed to her being a prostitute.  The other two have not reported to work and are fearful of the agents.  Various meetings have been held with certain officials to ascertain what actions are to be taken to bring these abuses to the attention of the public. 

Well, this Horse experienced first hand what many foreigners have had to go through and I was fortunate to have had a good support base to assist me.  Others have not been so lucky.  I have no desire to be put in such a situation again, it definitely is no fun and it is very stressful.  Possibly the ACTA and LACEM will be able to bring pressure on certain people to address certain human rights violations committed by some law enforcement officials so the ladies who are working to survive can be do so without physical abuses being heaped on them by their fellow countrymen who want to use them to facilitate extortion of foreigners.   By the way, the request from the CSWD asking for the assistance of the NBI to rescue the girl Roselle, was three months old and in fact, she was rescued in June and her Aunt was arrested and charged with trafficking since she is the one that brought her to the bar and presented all the necessary legal documents.  Let us hope that sometime in the near future that a new team will be assigned to the Clark NBI office, one that will work with the various agencies, including ACTA to rid the entertainment of underage girls but in a more unobtrusive and legal manner.  Rifles and guns are not necessary, history has shown that there have not been any gun battles between the police and Expat Club owners so why all the firepower? 

Guy with No common sense = 0

This one is about two months old.   In a monthly bar meeting the following incident was reported.   Some American guy decided to take a bunch of girls to a barangay up on the side of Pinatubo (off base).  He proceeded to get drunk with them in the village. Eventually he started drinking with some men.  He was found later stabbed to death.

The below is a follow up to a EXPAT murder I reported in my May 2006 Newsletter. Again, Harry has better info than me, so this is also extracted from his Oct News at http://www.harrythehorse.com/

A follow up -  (The details here are extracted from the news report written by reporter Dante Fabian) On April 16, 2006, the Sun Star ran a story about a German being murdered during a robbery in his apartment at Clark Ave, Villasol Subdivision, Barangay Arunas.  "His name was Hans Holtz, 52, married to Myrna, a Filipina.  The police disclosed that they found no signs of forcible entry into the apartment even though the incident took place around 0400 hours.  Myrna told the police that she left Hans watching TV at midnight and went to bed.  She then explained that at 0400 hours she was awakened when several men barged into her room and hogtied her with an electrical cord.  She related that the suspects also covered her face and body with a polo shirt.  Myrna told police that when the suspects fled, she went out of the room and discovered that her husband was killed.  This led her to scream for help."  Needless to say, when I spoke with the station 4 Chief at the time, the general feeling was that the wife might have been fabricating a bit.  In any case, as usual, there was no follow-up stories in the Sun Star and supposedly the investigation into the incident was on-going.  Recently I have had the opportunity to see the complete police report of the investigation and what follows is the "rest of the story".  Naturally I am going to try and summarize as the report is very long and I only want to touch on the salient points.  I remember that shortly after the murder of Hans I spoke with the Commander of Station 4 and we both felt that the wife, Myrna, had more to do with this event then just being a victim.  But, naturally, there were no more follow-up stories in the Sun Star and over the months I had forgotten about it until a concerned citizen contacted me to allow me to read a copy of the police report that was provided to Hans' brother.

"On 15 Apr PSSupt Segubre created a team to lead the investigation ( A certain PSInSP Marciano Martinez Banola, Chief IDMS was the chief investigator) and the investigators indicated that Myrna was evasive in answering any questions put to her.  The police received an anonymous call in which the caller informed them that a security guard, named Ronald who worked at the Hole in One KTV Club on Friendship Hi-Way contacted him to offer money to kill the husband of his girlfriend, a foreign national living in Villa Sol Subd.  Allegedly he refused the offer but when he learned that the crime had been committed he felt obligated to report the call.  Investigation disclosed that one Ronald A. Garcia, former security guard of Armor Security Agency assigned was assigned to the night shift and that his last duty had been on 16 Mar 06. It was disclosed that Myrna was enrolled at the AC-1 Fitness Ctr from 1 Jan to 1 Apr 06 and that she attended the night sessions.  This Center is next to where Ronald worked.   

On 3 May, the brother of Hans appeared at the police station to tell them that Myrna refused to meet with him and did not even attend the cremation on 29 Apr at the Manila Memorial Park. 

Myrna when shown a photo of Ronald A. Garcia became nervous and pale but swore she never saw the man in her life.  Ronald lived in Mabalacat and when the investigators interviewed witnesses they recognized pictures of Myerna and that Ronald had introduced her as his girlfriend.  One Amando Cabrong indicated that when drinking with Ronald he bragged of having a despondent girlfriend of a foreigner and before Holy Week she gave him P20,000 to redeem his house which had been pawned to a Beth Mendoza. 

On 4 May 06, an investigator was sent to Mabalacat to invite her (Myra) to the police sdtation as they had no communication with her since moving to her sister's house.  When they got to the apartment it was empty.  The caretaker disclosed that the occupants hauled off their house hold appliances and properties on 27 Apr, at midnight and transferred to an undisclosed place. 

Going back to the actual murder, the police report indicated that neighbors heard screaming and saw Myrna run out of her house.  When they approached her the apparatus supposedly binding her was easily removed as there were no knots at all and it was quite loose.  The shirt over her head was thin and could easily be seen through.  In fact Myrna easily removed her hands from the cable binding by herself. 

A day or two later, despite yellow tape indicating a crime scene and prohibiting anyone from entering the area, Myrna hired a people to clean up the scene.  Her excuse to the police was that it smelled bad.  But she made sure that everything was cleaned up and that utensils, including those with blood were put in the outside garbage.  Evidence indicated Hans was murdered in his bed while sound asleep and could not defend himslef.  The police indicated it was clear that Myrna concocted lies and different stories to cover up the gruesome murder of her husband.  They established her relationship with Ronald Garcia through statements of two people from Barangay Sapang Biabas, Mabalacat but she vehemently denied even knowing him on 3 May at the police station.  Her refusal to meet with the brother strongly indicates her guilt and bothered conscience.  The sudden disappearance of Ronald and Myrna including their families is suspicious and the P20,000 given to Ronald by Myrna is believed to be the pay off money to kill Holtz.  The murder took place in the bedroom and not in the sala as claimed by Myrna.  The knife wounds to the back and neck of Hans was the cause of death.  There were no signs of struggle despite the fact that he had martial arts training when younger and was a bouncer in Germany (at night clubs).

Indications are that Myrna knew Ronald and was deeply depressed.  She hated her husband for being strict to her and that he was a womanizer craving for younger women and bringing them home where he allegedly forced her to do sexual orgy with her as shown in the pictures found in their room.  Myrna defied the instructions of the police investigators not to move, touch or clean the crime scene for further ocular investigation.  She let others cross the police line on the night of 15 Apr to clean up."

"Premised on the evidence and statement at hand there is a strong probable cause to believe Myrna O. Holtz, Ronald A. Garcia, AKA Elvis and Roberto Villegas, AKA Nonong, were responsible in the gruesome death of Hans Holtz after conspiring and confederating together and mutually aiding and abetting each other in the commission of the crime."

"On or about 24 May 06 a case of MURDER was filed before the Angeles City Prosecutor's office against Myrna, Ronald and Rovberto docketed under I.S. Nr 06-E-1512.

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