Cebu shooting suspect staying in police official’s office

This video grab shows an unidentified man (center) and nurse Ephraim Montalbo (right) during a confrontation along F. Sotto Street in Cebu City on before dawn Sunday, March 19, 2017. SCREENGRAB FROM MOTORIST’S VIDEO

This video grab shows an unidentified man (center) and nurse Ephraim Montalbo (right) during a confrontation along F. Sotto Street in Cebu City on before dawn Sunday, March 19, 2017. SCREENGRAB FROM MOTORIST’S VIDEO

CEBU CITY — It apparently pays to have someone from Malacañang to facilitate a surrender.

While most Cebuanos were sleeping, Cebu road rage suspect David Lim Jr. turned himself over to Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) at 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Lim is the nephew of alleged drug lord Peter Lim, said Taliño.

READ: Peter Lim nephew in Cebu shooting surrenders — police

Instead of being detained at the stockade of Cebu City Police Office which investigated the shooting, Lim was brought to the Regional Intelligence Division at Camp Sergio Osmeña, headquarters of PRO-7.

Lim was accompanied by his mother Bebong, two relatives, and lawyer Orlando Salatandre Jr. when he went to the office of Taliño at the Camp Sergio Osmeña at about 2 a.m.

Taliño then texted Secretary Bong Go, special assistant to the President, to report the surrender. Go, who was accompanying President Duterte in his official visits to Asian countries, forwarded the text message to reporters in Davao City.

“Sir good am. Please be informed that David Lim Jr., the road rage suspect, has surrendered to RD-PRO 7 at around 2 a.m., March 21. 2017 at PRO 7 accompanied by his mother Bebong, two relatives, and lawyer Jun Salatandre. He is currently under my custody at RID pending the filing of the case un court. FYI sir.,” the text message read.

READ: Mayor accompanies cops in search of road rage shooting suspect

Inquirer tried to reach Taliño but he did not reply.

But in an interview with ABS-CBN on Tuesday morning, Taliño admitted that Lim was staying in his office at PRO 7 while charges were being readied against him. The official denied that the suspect was being given special treatment.

On Monday night, Taliño said he was requested by Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Philippine National Police chief, to coordinate with Go and arrange the surrender of Lim.

Go apparently advised Lim’s mother to surrender her son after he was identified as the shooter in the road rage shooting that wounded a nurse on Sunday dawn.

READ: Nurse shot by driver of a Mercedes Benz in Cebu traffic spat

“Sir Bong, the family decided to follow your advise to surrender my son David Lim Jr. to the regional commander Chief Supt. Noli Taliño tomorrow (Tuesday)….Please help us facilitate his surrender and safety- Mrs Lim,” said the text message of Bebong as forwarded by Go.

Lim’s surrender was apparently kept secret. Even Senior Supt. Joel Doria, director of the Cebu City police director, was not informed about it.

Doria didn’t know about it until Cebu Daily News called him at about 6 a.m. Tuesday. “Nag-surrender na pala? Wala akong alam na nag-surrender na pala siya (He already surrendered? I didn’t know that he had already surrendered),” he said.

The city police director said he was not totally surprised since Lim sent surrender feelers on Monday although no schedule was set.

Asked why he was not informed by Taliño about the surrender, Doria replied: “Hindi natin alam (I don’t know).”

He said that based on the procedure, Lim should be detained at the CCPO stockade or the Mabolo Police Station which has jurisdiction over the place where the road rage incident happened.

He said there was nothing much he could do if higher-ups wanted Lim to remain at the RID office.

In an interview with Anthony Taberna of ABS-CBN Manila, Taliño said the Lim family requested him not to put the suspect in an ordinary stockade while the charges were being prepared.

“Yan ang naging usapan namin. Wala din tayong detention facility dito. But he’s closely guarded by the police. (That’s the agreement we had with the family. Also, we don’t have a detention facility here at PRO-7. He’s nonetheless guarded closely by the police),” he said.

He said they would turn over Lim to the proper jail authorities once the case was filed in court.

“Takot kasi ang pamilya sa CCPO jail. Kaya punayag tayo na dito muna sa opisina. Wala namang special treatnent. Kapag may kaso na, then ilagay natin siya kung saang detention cell na nararapat. (His family is afraid yo out him at the CCPO stockade. So I agreed to temporarily put him here inside the RID office. There’s no special treatment. Once a case is filed, we will bring him to the right detentionvfacility),” he said.

But Lim might not taste detention behind bars.

His lawyer Salatandre said they would post bail once the charges were filed in court.

Lim might face a frustrated homicide charge, a bailable offense. He could be released on P200,000 bail. –Ador Vincent Mayol , CBB

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