By Jennifer P. Rendon
One of the suspects in the robbery of delivery firm J&T Express was arrested morning of March 3, 2023 in Leganes, Iloilo.
Police traced John Mark Lebuna, 22, of Barangay San Isidro, Jaro, Iloilo City to his live-in partner’s house in Barangay Guinobatan, Leganes around 10:15 a.m. Friday.
Captain Lester Oliveros, Iloilo City Police Station 3 chief, said they only recovered three sachets of suspected shabu from Lebuna.
No cash or firearm was seized from Lebuna’s possession.
Oliveros said the suspect has been uncooperative and kept his silence on his cohorts.
Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City police chief, said Lebuna was an alleged offender for years already.
Lebuna was charged for frustrated homicide and attempted robbery after he stabbed and robbed a taxi driver on Feb. 22, 2022. He’s categorized as a child in conflict with the law (CICL).
Lebuna’s mother was in disbelief that her son took part in the robbery. She claimed that her son was in Barangay Ungka, Jaro when the robbery at Quintin Salas, Jaro happened.
Meanwhile, Coronica identified the other person of interest as a certain Marlon Edemburgo, 30, of Barangay Benedictine, Jaro.
Edemburgo was also accused of robbery and theft but the cases were amicably settled.
He was also accused of violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2022).
The third suspect in the robbery is a minor.
The three suspects were identified by J&T employees Judy Ann Blanco and Blandino Paner as the ones who carted away the company’s P622,966 cash last Wednesday, March 1.
Blanco and Paner told investigators that they were in the middle of their inventory inside their office around 7:30 p.m. when the three suspects barged inside.
Blanco, 26, the branch’s finance office, and Paner, 21, the company sprinter, said the suspects took the money at gunpoint.
Aside from the company-owned money, the suspects also took Blanco’s wallet containing three ATM cards, several identification cards, P2,000 personal cash, and two mobile phones.
They also took Paner’s vape cigarette.
A monetary reward of P200,000 was offered to tipsters who could provide information that would lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.
On his Facebook page, Mayor Jerry Treñas announced that the amount reached P200,000 after Rep. Julienne Baronda of the city’s lone district added another P100,000 on top of his earlier P100,000 pledge.
Coronica said the bounty is outside of the PNP’s reward system.
“That amount given by Mayor Treñas and Rep. Baronda will be given to informant/s once the case is considered solved,” he said.