By Non Alquitran and Aie Balagtas See
Philstar News Service
|Ricky Cadavero alias Kambal|
MANILA, Philippines - The leader of the Ozamiz robbery gang may serve as long as 67 years in prison since he was convicted in absentia for two counts each of robbery and frustrated murder, an official said yesterday.
Ricky Cadavero is also the subject of an arrest warrant for murder in Lapulapu City, Cebu.
"The long arms of the law finally caught up with him. He will rot in jail as more complainants have surfaced to identify him in several other robbery cases," National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina said in an interview.
He said the NCRPO's task of neutralizing the Ozamiz gang does not end with Cadavero's arrest--his men are still hunting down the remaining members of the gang.
Southern Police District director Chief Superintendent Benito Estipona said Cadavero is cooperating in the follow-up investigation.
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 215 convicted Cadavero for robbery on Sept. 27, 2011, sentenced him to six to 17 years in prison and ordering him to indemnify the government of P1.2 million.
The same court also found him guilty in another robbery case, sentencing him to four to 10 years in prison and telling him to pay the government P45,000 in damages.
Cadavero was convicted for two counts of frustrated murder and meted a jail term of eight to 20 years for each count.
Espina called on other victims of the Ozamiz robbery gang to file charges against them. "We will see to it that they stay in jail for their lifetime so they could not return to their old ways of robbing innocent people and owners of business establishments," he said.
Cadavero was arrested along with his common-law wife, Fe Tolentino, in Noveleta, Cavite Friday night. Alleged gang driver Randy Maratas and another reported gang member, Avelino Lagata, were arrested in Bacoor City.
Police officers recovered two .45 caliber pistols, a .38 caliber revolver, assorted ammunition, around 10 grams of shabu, 12 cell phones, three bankbooks and assorted documents.
They also seized a Mitsubishi Montero Sport, a Toyota Innova and a Honda CRV, which Espina said were used by the gang in previous robbery operations.
After the arrest of five gang members in Quezon City two weeks ago, Estipona's men arrested Gregorio Telen in Lucena City. Telen fingered Antonio and Ramil Espera, who yielded two motorcycles, handguns, and hand grenade and an undetermined amount of shabu.
The Esperas led police officers to Cadavero. Estipona said Cadavero and his gang have admitted participating in at least 15 robberies in Metro Manila and Cavite. [www.philstar.com]