Cops say Sorsogon robbery gangs using children

By Bobby Labalan
Last updated 03:25am (Mla time) 07/21/2007

SORSOGON CITY—Robbery syndicates here are using minors in their operations, especially those involved in the so-called “akyat-bahay” activities, the city’s top policeman said following the arrest of five minor offenders ages 12 to 16 years old.


Supt. Adan Magdasoc, newly installed city chief of police, said the minors were tagged as responsible for looting some houses at the Sampaguita Subdivision in Barangay San Juan-Roro where they were able to take cell phones, cash and some appliances.


Magdasoc said another group, also composed of minors, was involved in robbery at the Somascan Sister’s Convent at Barangay Pangpang.


In an interview with the Inquirer, the children admitted to the crime but said they were forced by a certain “Bong” to rob so that they could be admitted to Bong’s group.


Dichoso said Bong introduced himself as a military man and was armed with a handgun.


All five minors said they no longer wanted to return home as they did not see any use staying with their respective families.


Two of the suspects just reached Grade 4 while the three failed to complete Grade 1.


PO3 Mildred Jintalan, in charge of the Women and Children’s Desk, said some of those arrested already had previous police records and could be considered as recidivists.


Jintalan said the offenders had been referred to the City Social Welfare and Development Office, which is the proper office to handle those considered as minors in conflict with the law as stated under Republic Act 9344.


Magdasoc said they were able to extract some information from the suspects that could lead to the arrest of those running the syndicates.


He said City Mayor Leovic Dioneda called him to a meeting yesterday to discuss the problem about street children, especially those who get entangled with the law.


Magdasoc said in a text message to the Inquirer that two minor suspects involved in the Somascan Convent robbery were already arrested and were undergoing investigation at the city police office.


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